Senators, by Indie Boards & Cards (originally released in 2017 by La Mame Games), is an adversarial, bidding game where players are leaders of one of the factions in the city of Rome. It’s designed by Haig Tahta, and Rikki Tahta (known for Coup), with art by Andrew Higgins (also known for Coup), and Pascal Quidault (known for Splendor, and Time Stories).
In the late Republican period of Rome, players compete for power in the Senate. They increase their wealth by buying up resources, then use their position to sell them to the state for profits. Players use the cash to “buy” more Senators (thereby controlling more votes in the Senate), support wars, and defend against aggressive bids. Since Rome is constantly in conflict, the Senate will choose to centralize power and appoint a single leader who will be appointed as Caesar. The game lasts a variable number of turns and ends when the 4th war is revealed. The winner is the player who has the faction with the most control over the Senate at that point.
Senators can be played by 3-5 players, aged 12+, and plays in roughly 45-60 mins. It’s expected to release towards the end of March 2019.
Indie Boards and Cards the company that brought us great games like The Resistance and Flash Point Fire Rescue has a new game on Kickstarter called Melee. Melee is a 20 minute war game for 2 -4 players designed by Rikki Tahta who brought us great games like Coup and Coup: Rebellion G54 with fun fantasy artwork by Xavier Gueniffey Durin.
It is the dawn of a new year. The old king has just died childless, and the new succession must be decided before the end of this year. You are a local baron or countess with as good a claim as anyone else, so now is the time to grab the throne. Your peers understand only force, and your subjects understand only gold. Gather your men, pay your knights, and assert your claim. Everyone will recognize the strongest and richest as the rightful monarch.
Each player will start with a castle, a unit of foot soldiers and some gold. The game begins with a drafting session that has players bidding on special abilities and purchase units (soldiers, knights, catapults, and camps). The game will play over four seasons (turns) and each one players will simultaneously choose one of three actions to perform: tax, build new units, or move/attack.
This game has a very unique combat mechanic. To attack you move your unit(s) into an occupied territory, then the attacker secretly palms a minimum one gold into their hand from their supply. The defender simply guesses how much gold the attack has in their hand, if they are correct they have successfully defended their territory, wrong and they have lost the battle. Regardless of winning or losing the attacker has spent their gold. While this may sound completely random gold looks to be scarce in the game and with only 5 actions over 4 rounds for the entire game there isn’t a lot of time to gain it, plus players must spend at least 1 gold per attack so this mechanic certainly has me intrigued enough to back the project.
For each season except for winter (the last season) players are allotted only one action, in winter they have two with each player taking both actions before the next player. This makes the game play very quick and can make for a brutish and short game.
Melee was originally released by La Mame Games at Essen 2014 and was a hit with a lot of folks there. It looks to be a very clever, fast, brutish, and potentially nasty game. It also looks like it will be a tremendous amount of fun. If you are a fan of this style of play you really should check this project out on Kickstarter here.
Coup: Reformation Expansion
Reformation is an expansion to 2012’s Coup that was funded on Kickstarter back in April for $254, 133. Designed by Rikki Tahta, Reformation adds some new cards and rules for factions and team play and does require the base game to play. With Coup: Reformation, each player must declare himself either Protestant or Catholic and can target only members of the other faith. Conversion is possible, however, for yourself or for another player by paying a charitable donation to the Almshouse. Like all factions, once you have eliminated the other sect, you just descend into in-fighting, so there’s still only one winner and no second place. Components include 15 character cards and 10 faction cards.
Designed by David J. Mortimer, this fantasy, dice, press your luck game. Each player is a Dragon Slayer and competing against each other in the Dragon Hunt. The twist is that players can challenge and passing or failing will lead to rewards. Dragon Slayer was funded on Kickstarter in May for $66, 740.