resource management

Set in another dimension filled with alien life, Darwinauts, designed by Chris Bryan (Lanterns Dice Game, Favelas, and Dragon Ball Z: Perfect Cell) and illustrated by the prolific Vincent Dutrait, puts you and up to 3 other players in the role of brave researchers tasked with venturing through a portal into this new land to discover, research, and record new species of life.

In Darwinauts, which the publisher describes as a “light-to-medium weight Euro-style game of tile-laying, worker placement, set collection, and action selection,” players take 2 actions on their turn; they can place an explorer, place a tile, replenish tiles and remove explorers, discover a species, or record a species (which then triggers one of five possible bonus actions). Gameplay will continue in this manner until The Rift Tile is revealed, after which the new world will become unstable and players will dismantle the landscape they built and race to complete their tasks and return home before the game draws to a close.

The campaign includes a Standard Explorer pledge which includes just the game and stretch goals, as well as a Decorated Explorer pledge which includes a playmat in addition to the game and stretch goals.

For more information on the game, you can find the official Kickstarter campaign page here.

Ares Games is joining forces with Spaceballoon Games to distribute the Euro-style board game Brides & Bribes in the United States and non-European countries. Brides & Bribes is a worker placement and resource management board game for 2-5 players. The game is set in Genoa during the Renaissance period where each player assumes the role of one of five families struggling to increase their power and become the new Doge – Lord of the city.

Brides & Bribes uses an innovative hidden worker placement mechanic, which gives players the feeling of being part of a Renaissance Genoa full of intrigue and deception. Using a deck building system, players hire new employees, growing their power during the game.

In each round, players secretly plan to send a family member with the right skills into the Genoese boroughs to perform one of the five possible actions: hire new employees, collect money, get new workers, increase influence points or convince the local Lord that their family is worth a marriage with his beautiful daughter.

Brides & Bribes was created by Andrea Gallazzi, Elisa Lenardi, Pietro Navarotto, and published by Spaceballoon Games. It was originally funded on Kickstarter in late 2016 and shipped to Kickstarter backers in late 2017, but it was not distributed to retail in the USA.

The distribution of Brides & Bribes by Ares Games will start in April 2019.

How much influence do you have? That will be determined in Warhammer: Age of Sigmar-The Rise & Fall of Anvalor WizKids brings a new event to the Warhammer: Age of Sigmar series and many possibilities of play! As a representative of 1 of 6 factions you “officially” are tasked to contribute to the building and defense of the city of Anvalor – BUT! behind the scenes you are scheming to gain the most influence for your faction. By blocking the other factions and being the most resourceful  you can alter the course of the game.  However, all factions have mutual enemies that must be dealt with or the entire city will crumble.

“The Rise and Fall of Anvalor, designed by Rustan Hakansson, offers many different combinations of play: each faction has four Aspects to choose from and the three different enemies have four different difficulties. Add to this the ability to play solo, and The Rise and Fall of Anvalor will offer many hours of varied and challenging gameplay.”

A tile laying, resource management, take that- but semi-cooperative game. Play as 1 of 6 factions. Use all your powers of strategy and cunning to reign supreme. With a solo-play option you can even hone your skills before laying waste to your frienemies.

“The Rise and Fall of Anvalor releases April 2019, so be sure to preorder it at your friendly local game store today!”

Elf Creek Games is re-releasing their cooperative, worker placement game Atlantis Rising. The gods are angry with the Atlanteans and are trying to destroy their island- but the leaders of Atlantis have other ideas!  Using worker placement and resource management strategies use what you collect to build 10 machines to thwart the gods and save the island of Atlantis from imminent destruction.  The stunning artwork of Vincent Dutrait, and the ‘race against the game’ intensity will have you returning to Atlantis Rising again and again!

Atlantis Rising is on Kickstarter until November 30, 2018 and the game is available in standard and deluxe editions.

Even in today’s market where there are more and more games to choose from than ever before, Days of Wonder releases still feel exceptional. Their quality control to deliver sweet and beautiful family-weight games is second-to-none and they’re always bringing something new to the realm of “gateway” weight games. Their newest title, The River, follows this trend bringing an interesting blend of tile placement, resource management, and worker placement in a quick, clean, charming package. Designed by Sébastien Pauchon and Ismaël Perrin, it plays 2 to 4 players and is expected to be available in time for Essen this October, later to hit retail in November. As described in Days of Wonder’s announcement:

     “In the game, you embody pioneers embarking down a river in search of a new lands to settle. As you explore the untouched frontier, you will have to work twice as hard to manage your workers as they start to settle down along the way. The player with the most impressive settlement will be declared the winner!”

I’m excited to see such a blend of mechanics enter at this gaming level, because I feel that there needs to be more gateway worker placement games than Stone Age that can do something a bit new with it. While resource management itself is nothing revolutionary, how that interacts with the tile placement here is unique since new tiles have to progress down the titular river and they cover up resources you’d been using up until that point. Deciding which tiles to pick at what time is just as important as where to place workers, and on top of that there are buildings that can be bought and reserved much like the cards in Splendor. There is a good mix here, and it’ll be a highlight of Essen to see how well it’s received. If you’re interested in learning more about The River, be sure to check out Days of Wonder’s news post and also their product page which features the full rules in 6 languages!

Travel back in time to the world of Ancient Greece with their art, academia and mythology in Hellenica by MR. B. Games. This game combines a multitude of mechanics such as area control, resource management, strategy and combat that makes it infinitely replayable. The object is to reach 3 of your chosen objectives.

“Your goal is to become the preeminent symbol of Greece for all posterity by completing a combination of secret and public goals. Will you be remembered as a warmonger or a peaceful philosopher? Great priest or apostate? Will you develop a devotion to the gods or focus on the advancement of your people? Can you guide your civilization during these turbulent times? Will your vision of Hellenic civilization be remembered for all time, or will you merely be a stepping stone for another…?”

As you try to reach your 3 objectives you will take 7 steps per turn:  Research/Advancement, Worship, Build, Train, Supply Troops, World Event , Pass, Upkeep Phase. All of these steps are specific and intricate and the direction you take will depend on the goals you have. If you want to gain more favor from the Gods then you would build more temples and try to earn more favor tokens. If you have a military objective you would build more barracks and train more troops.

Hellenica is on Kickstarter until September 7th, 2018 and will be exclusive to this campaign and MR. B. Games. So don’t wait!

“The Limited Edition Core Game of Hellenica will not be available outside of this campaign and direct from MR. B. Games and will feature solo play and support up to 7 players. Rather than make those expansions, we are including everything we have in the Core Game (think of it as the the Core Game AND the first two expansions already bundled together!)”

And check out the campaign page to see Mark and Randy from Dice Tower as they preview this epic game!

The British Isles and, in particular, Wales, is home to some of the richest railway history in the world.  In the early 1800’s smaller narrow gauge railways were carved out of the rocky hills and mountains, carrying slate and workers through the Welsh countryside.  Snowdonia, named after a mountainous region in northwestern Wales, was first released in 2012.

Described as a lighter but interesting worker placement game, players seek to blast, excavate and build sites and structures and lay track for railways.  The first scenario, set in Wales, was included in the original game.  The deluxe version will include all expansions and scenarios to date, 12 scenarios in all with different locations.  The new Deluxe Master Set will also include:

  • A larger deluxe board
  • New, larger box
  • Custom double decker insert
  • One brand new scenario, along with all those that were previously released
  • 365 custom wooden components
  • Several promo cards featuring unique trains and other items and people
  • Large full colour scoring pad
  • Cloth bag

Not familiar with the game?  Click here and you’ll be up to speed before you can say Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch!  This deluxe version will be on Kickstarter for the next 23 days.

When Cutie Met Patootie is anything if not unique in both name and theme, but beyond that stands a game that has a solid design.

In the game you are racing up the mountain trying to collect gems of the color you desire without getting captured by Rewind as it floods the board.  At the start of the game you are given a citizen card (this is the card that will tell you what gems give you points) and thus will drive you decisions during the game.  In the game everyone will be controlling all of the characters, so you will have to be a bit obscure in what you are collecting, less someone figures it out and starts spending all of your point gems.

On your turn you have two options, move or collect gems.  To move you have to pass through colored gems on the board, and to pass them you have to spend that color gem, or two of a single different color, in order to pass it and move up to the next card.  If the card you are moving to shows your character though, you can move to that card for free.  To collect gems you will be playing cards from your hand and distribute out the colored gems shown on it.  There are two ways you can do this; to do it quickly means you put all the gems on the visitor depicted on the discarded card, to do it slowly means you can put the gems on whoever you like.  However, doing things slowly can come back and bite you because this also adds cards to the rewind display and can cause rows of the forest to be flooded.  When a row of forest floods, all the characters in that row are captured and removed form the game.  But that isn’t the only time a row of cards will flood, if the bottom most cards of the forest are empty of characters, then this row floods automatically.  This means you could get two rows flooded at the same time if you don’t plan carefully.  Once nearly all the rows have been flooded the game will end, all the gems will be pooled together, another set of starting gems will be added, and players will score according to their citizen cards.  The player with the most points is the winner.

The Kickstarter video, although not showing game play, shows the first part of the story that they will unfold over the course of the campaign.  The art for the game is good with a bit of anime flair to it. Game play is solid, and there is even a single stretch goal that will upgrade the pawns to fully painted minis.  So if the game interests you, or you want to find out more about the back story, check out the Kickstarter campaign today.  A copy of the game will set you back $39 plus shipping.

If you missed the Kickstarter for Wendake last summer, you are in luck because it will now be available this fall.

Wendake, designed by Danilo Sabia and illustrated by Alan D’Amico and Paolo Vallerga, is an action selection, area control, and resource management game.  Set in the Great Lakes Region during the Seven Years War between the French and the English (1756-1763), the war is but one obstacle to the Native American tribes of the Huron Nation striving for prosperity. In Wendake, players are chiefs of a Native American tribe managing all of the most important aspects of tribal life. Each tribe has their own special abilities their chiefs can use throughout the game.

The core of the game is the action selection mechanism.  Actions are taken on a grid of tiles where players activate a row, column, or diagonal, taking all the actions in that line.  Afterward, those action tiles are flipped over to reveal new actions to choose from.  The available actions are constantly cycling, and over the course of the game new actions to add to the grid become available allowing better choices.   Tribal prosperity is scored on the economic, military, ritual, and mask tracks that are paired.  Players only score on the lowest of each paired track, so a balanced approach is necessary for victory.  The player with the highest total score is the winner.

Wendake plays 1-4 players, ages 14+, in 1-2 hours, and it is available for pre-order now.  Pre-orders from Renegade Game Studios can be picked up at Gen Con, August 2-5th, 2018, while pre-orders from your Friendly Local Game Store will be available this fall.

Homesteaders was one of the first games published by Tasty Minstrel Games in 2009, and it has been out of print for quite some time.  TMG has published many games since then, and to celebrate its 10th Anniversary, it has launched a Kickstarter campaign for an upgraded Anniversary Edition of Homesteaders.

In Homesteaders, players are settlers in the Old West claiming land to develop into a town.   This is an auction and resource management game in which players bid on the opportunity to build certain types of buildings, then spend resources to build those buildings of that type. Building provide players different abilities, income, and points.  Players must manage their resources to win successful bids, pay for buildings, and sell for points or risk going into debt and losing points. The player who has the most points at the end of the game is the winner.

The production value of the original edition was already pretty high.  The game included many wooden tokens to represent the workers, the player tokens, and six different types of resources.  The anniversary edition will include the same high-quality components in addition to upgraded metal victory point tokens and silver coins.

Along with 10th Anniversary Edition Homesteaders comes the first expansion, Homesteaders: New Beginnings.  The expansion adds a fifth player, events, new buildings, new auctions, and oversized wooden resource tokens that represent 5 resources of its type.  Homesteaders: New Beginnings is compatible with the original edition of Homesteaders.

To learn more about the 10th Anniversary Edition Homesteaders and Homesteaders: New Beginnings, check out their Kickstarter campaign which runs through 11 May and is expected to deliver in January 2019.