Root

On June 15, 2019, at the annual Origins Game Fair, the winners of the 45th Annual Origins Awards were announced. The awards are chosen not only by the Academy Jury, but by the fans.

The Best Board Game Award and Game of the Year as voted on by both the Jury and the fans is Root, published by Leder Games and designed by Cole Wehrle, with artwork provided by Kyle Ferrin.

In addition to announcing the award winners, the annual inductees into the Hall of Fame were announced: fantasy horror artist Gerard Brom and game designer Vlaada Chvatil were inducted, as were the games Mage Knight: The Board Game and Apples to Apples. There was a new award handed out this year for the first time, the Rising Star Award, and it went to Jamey Stegmeier of Stonemeier Games.

For further information on the rest of the award winners, be sure and check here.

It’s that time of year again – the time for the Dice Tower and it’s contributors to vote for the games worthy of an award among a variety of categories, not the least of which is the best game of year. These are the best of the best according to the panel of judges on games released in English in 2018.  You can see previous winners, along with this year’s nominees, on the Dice Tower Awards website, and look forward to the winners being announced at Dice Tower Con later this year.

Best Family Game of the year

Fireball Island
Gizmos
Reef
Space Base
My Little Scythe

Best Artwork

Everdell
Root
Grimm Forest
Cerebria
Rising Sun

Most Innovative

Chronicles of Crime
Nyctophobia
Detective: A Modern Crime Boardgame
KeyForge
The Mind

Best Reprint

Fireball Island
Brass Lancashire
Endeavor: Age of Sail
High Society
The Estates

Best Strategy

Root
Teotihuacan
Brass Birmingham
Coimbra
Underwater Cities

Best Production

Rising Sun
Fireball Island
Everdell
Brass Birmingham
Grimm Forest

Best Expansion

Scythe: Rise of Fenris
Terraforming Mars: Prelude
Roll Player: Monsters and Minions
Great Western Trail: Rails to the North
Root: The Riverfolk

Best Game from a Small Publisher

Root – Leder Games
Chronicle of Crime – Lucky Duck Games
Underwater Cities – Delicious Games
Vindication – Orange Nebula LLC
Obsession – Kayenta Game

Best Cooperative Game of the year

Chronicles of Crime
Just One
The Mind
Detective: A Modern Crime Boardgame
Stuffed Fables

Best Two-Player

KeyForge
War Chest
Duelosaur Island
Haven
Mythic Battles: Pantheon

Best New Designer

Wolfgang Warsch (Quacks of Quedlinberg, The Mind, & Ganz Schon Clever)
David Cicurel (Chronicles of Crime)
Catherine Stippell (Nyctophobia)
Ivan Lashin (Smartphone Inc.)
Tim Eisner (Grimm Forest)

Best Party Game

Just One
Decrypto
The Mind
Drop it
Trapwords

Best Theming

Western Legends
Root
Detective: A Modern Crime Boardgame
Stuffed Fables
Chronicles of Crime

Game of the Year

Root
Teotihuacan
Chronicles of Crime
Underwater Cities
Brass Birmingham
Western Legends
Rising Sun
Architects of the West Kingdoms
Everdell
The Mind

This past weekend, Root by Leder Games took home the Tabletop Game of the Year award at SXSW, and it now sits among the company of previous winners such as Gloomhaven and Arkham Horror: The Card Game. SXSW (South By Southwest) is a large festival in Austin, Texas that, each year, brings together and celebrates multiple creative industries, from gaming to music to film. That’s partly what makes this award so nice: it’s in recognition of a game by a conference that’s not strictly gaming-centric and is undoubtedly awarding Root for all of it’s artistic merits. While I can go on-and-on about how amazing artist Kyle Ferrin’s work is, the illustrations in the game weren’t the only thing being recognized fully at SXSW, and that’s definitely something worth praising.

“Patrick and I were in attendance and it was our honor to accept the award on behalf of the entire staff at Leder Games. Needless to say, this award would have been impossible without the support of our backers. We are incredibly grateful for your continued support.” – designer of Root, Cole Wehrle

Not long after this announcement came the next biggest news for Leder Games – the expansion currently on Kickstarter broke 1 million U.S. dollars in funding, easily dwarfing the money raised by the base game in late 2017. It’s a major feat, demonstrative of the love, care, and hard work that went into making it and it’s ripple effect across the gaming communities. That much recognition is bound to be overwhelming, but it is well deserved – congratulations, everyone! If you’re interested in learning more about this award-winning game and it’s expansion, be sure to check out it’s campaign page for the full rules, print-and-play, FAQs, and updates.

Root, the critically claimed asymmetric forest critter game from Leder Games and designer Cole Wehrle has a new expansion on Kickstarter. The Underworld Expansion, by designer Patrick Leder, introduces two new critters to the wood, the Crows and the Moles. The Corvid Conspiracy of Crows slowly takes over other players’ decks of cards by adding agents to their hands. As each agent comes to fruition and advances the Corvid agenda, the Conspiracy must move to a new secret hideout in the wood. The Great Duchy of Moles travels underground, building tunnels and taking over clearings in the wood. The Underworld Expansion also includes new Mountain and Lake Maps, and a new Exiles & Partisans deck of cards to replace the original deck with special powers. Also available are resin clearing markers, new meeples in the vagabond pack, and all of the previous expansions and extra. The Kickstarter for the Underground Expansion continues through April 2, and is expected to ship in December 2019.

Dire Wolf Digital recently announced the plan to make Raiders of the North Sea into a digital app game, but that’s not the only board game to digital game happening from the company.

They are also partnering with Whiz Kids for Mage Knight the Board Game. Root, an asymmetrical war game will also get the digital treatment, as well as Sagrada, the stained glass dice drafting game. Yellow and Yangtze, the tile based combat game and the World War I and II aviation game Wings of Glory are also to be featured.

Read more at Dire Wolf’s website here.

Picture from popularmechanics.com

Popular Mechanics, a longtime publication about popular science and technology, has often covered features that would interest the intellectual and creative minds of its readers, so it should be no surprise that the magazine has published a list of 50 best new board games for the past three years. While their list is not as comprehensive as the Dice Tower’s Top 100 Games or the numerous lists of Top Ten GamesPopular Mechanics has been a champion of the boardgame hobby to the uninitiated.  Popular Mechanics’ latest list comes just in time for the holidays and includes a wide variety of games to appeal to every type of gamer.  While only a handful of popular games from 2018 make the list, such as Rising Sun , Everdell, and Root, the majority of the list is comprised of great games from the past several years.  Gloomhaven, Pandemic Legacy: Season 1, Terraforming Mars, Star Wars: Rebellion, Scythe, Gaia Project, and Great Western Trail all make the list. Check out their list to see Popular Mechanics 50 Best New Board Games.

Rob Searing here, Manager of Dice Tower News. Often I am spending my time writing and editing articles. It’s not often that I get to share “in” the news. GenCon is one of the few conventions I get to cover and there’s always so much going on. I spent a bit of time in the Exhibit Hall today meeting with various publishers and wanted to post some highlights and tips on where to consider running to when the convention opens Thursday morning!

BREAKING GAMES – BOOTH 2329

Expancity, designed by Alex Cutler and Matt Fantastic, is a gorgeous city building game composed of some wonderful and stackable building blocks that are placed on commercial and residential tiles. Scoring is accomplished via numerous ways including strategically placing buildings near common structures. Expancity was demoed at Dice Tower Con and was a huge hit. You can view Tom’s review here.

Rise of Tribes, designed by Brad Brooks, is a civilization game composed of area control and dice rolling mechanics complimented with variable player powers. Players will take control of a prehistoric tribe and scoring will depend on how well you gather resources, build villages, accomplish goals and more. You can view a detailed review of the game here.

Rise of Tribes, along with Expancity, are of excellent quality and gameplay seemed fun and engaging. You can head over to booth 2329 to demo either or pick up a copy.

PEGASUS SPIELE – BOOTH 2013

Talisman is not a game unfamiliar to gamers (the 4th edition of the game was released in 2007). Talisman: Legendary Tales, however, is a completely new take on the universe. Legendary Tales is designed by Michael Palm and Lukas Zach and is published right here in the Unites States (right in Indiana to be precise). It contains elements of bagbuilding, variable player powers and is cooperative.

“In Talisman: Legendary Tales, the players must work together as an adventure party to recover the five legendary Talismans that have been lost. During each adventure, the party endeavors to recover one of the lost Talismans. The adventures must be played in order. You may repeat adventures, and you may play one or more adventures in a game session.

Over the course of this story, you will travel across a wondrous land and have exciting adventures in which you must make important decisions and defend yourself against cruel enemies. As an adventure party, you succeed in each adventure once you have completed the final task and have recovered the Talisman. Be careful: You have only a limited amount of time!”

Legendary Tales sports some really nice artwork, by Falk Holzapfel, and is bound to entice  by reinventing this 30+ year old game.

LEDER GAMES – BOOTH 3043

Leder Games really hit the map with the release of Vast. This year they look to top the game with another asymmetrical player-powers game where players will contend for control of an immense wilderness. Root is designed by Cole Wehrle and was first seen on Kickstarter. Available for purchase at booth 3043, Root can also be purchased along with an expansion – The Riverfolk expansion. The game takes advantage of multi-purpose cards and is the next step in asymmetric design. Made to engage the entire family, Root is sure to thrill and spark your imagination. It was one of my most-anticipated games at the con this year.

NAUVOO GAMES – BOOTH 2007

The Reckoners is a game based upon Brandon Sanderson’s book series of the same name. It is a cooperative game designed by Brett Sobol and Seth Van Orden. Nauvoo Games, publishers of the hit Stockpile, is offering three different version of the game at booth 2007 – one that includes painted miniatures and deluxe components. Reckoners

“The Reckoners plays like a challenging, ever-shifting puzzle. If you like co-operative games where you carefully manage resources, build powerful action combos, create tactical plans with your teammates, and work together to take down the bad guy while on the brink of defeat, then be sure to check out The Reckoners.”

The Reckoners was Tom’s #1 most anticipated game at GenCon and a full review can be found here.

TASTY MINSTREL GAMES – BOOTH 1337

(Trays not included in the game)

Although not debuting at GenCon, Pioneer Days, designed by Matthew Dunstan and Chris Marling, is an American west drafting and dice game centered around the ole’ Oregon Trail. With absolutely beautiful artwork by Guille Longhini and Sergi Marcet, Pioneer Days will have you drawing dice out of a bag to roll and then draft the to collect money, hire people, or take action all with hopes of earning the most points. You can view a full review of the game here and pick up a copy over at TMG’s booth at 1337. There’s plenty of other reasons to stop by their booth (Trade on the Tigris, Jungli-La, and more).

IELLO – BOOTH 129

Last, but certainly not least, is IELLO. As always, IELLO has quite a bit they are featuring this year although my favorite is Raids, designed by Matthew Dunstan and Brett J Gilbert. In Raids, a viking-themed game, players will sail to tiles that are laid – vying for control of them or going to collect runes or goods…along with other vikings to bolster your crew. The components are fantastic – gold painted bits and metal coins – along with fantastic artwork by Biboun. IELLO is bound to be busy so make sure to stop by there early!

There’s bound to be more. Please follow our Tweets and Instagram posts throughout the convention and keep an eye out for exciting news announcements through the week!

Leder Games, designer Cole Wehrle (Pax Pamir), and artist Kyle Ferrin (Vast) have started a Kickstarter for Root, a highly asymmetrical game along the lines of Leder Games‘ previous hit Vast. In Root, 2-4 players take on the roles of the Marquis and her cats, who have just taken control of the woodland, the Eyrie, who are mustering their hawks to take back the wood, the Alliance of woodland animals, who have just been displaced, and the Vagabond, who travels through the wood.

Each faction scores points on the tracker and uses the same deck of cards, marked with 4 suits of the forest animals. The first faction to 40 points wins the game. The Marquis scores points by building industry and improving  infrastructure, while the Eyrie constructs roosts out of which they attack and claim territory, and the Alliance must set up conspiracies and hide in the shadows. The Vagabond is the most mobile group in the woods, and scores points by helping the other players, developing both positive and negative relationships with the other factions. Additionally, the Vagabond have a secret objective to win the game, regardless of points. Read more about Root at the Leder Games website here, or on the Kickstarter page.

The Kickstarter campaign for Root is due to continue through November 21, and the game should come to backers in August 2018.