Following the same “narrative game engine” as its predecessor, Escape the Dark Sector has added new mechanics to represent a change in setting from retro fantasy to a science-fiction inspired Escape experience.
Players assemble a captured starship crew that begins their story in the detention block of a vast space station with the goal of making it back to their impounded ship. They must blast their way through combat scenarios, bypass traps and deal with terrors drawn from 48 illustrated chapter cards that make each new game a different experience. If the players manage to overcome every card in the mission deck and survive the final boss, they escape the station and win together.
Themeborne added some mechanical tweaks to suit the flavor of its new game. Progressively more challenging chapter cards, a redesigned ranged combat system, expanded combat actions and character enhancements are some of the newer features to make their way into this latest Escape title.
Castle found a following with its retro fantasy charm that called back to nostalgia like Fighting Fantasy books featuring monochrome art and immersive storytelling. Themeborne used inspiration from classic sci-fi and role playing games this time to put together Sector.
This is Themeborne’s third crowdfunding campaign following the original Escape the Dark Castle fundraiser and a second campaign to back a series of Castle expansions. With a July 1 funding deadline looming, some stretch goals remain to be unlocked and a series of bundles and add-ons are still available on their Kickstarter page.
SolarFlare Games has announced a new game in their Robotech line of games, Robotech: Crisis Point, along with a new small expansion for Robotech: Force of Arms, Robotech: Force of Arms – Grand Cannon expansion.
Robotech: Crisis Point is another head-to-head 2-player game in the Robotech universe. The players are fighting for control of the Earth, using hand management, area control and bluffing mechanisms in order to do so.
The Robotech: Force of Arms – Grand Cannon expansion is a free small pack of booster cards, which gives the players more heroes and commands for the base game of Robotech: Force of Arms.
Check out the web page for more information on both the new game and the expansion here.
The “Choose Your Own Adventures” book series is a hybrid
between the beloved Choose Your Own Adventure books popular in the 80s and 90s,
and a traditional board game. In this iteration, players must lead the Rapid
Force Crew around the galaxy, looking for clues to track down the Evil Power
Master and stop him before he unleashes destruction.
For centuries, the Lacoonian System, an alliance of the most advanced civilizations in the galaxy, has lived in peace. But now the Evil Power Master has returned and is leading a destructive rebellion.
There are nine locations in the Lacoonian System where the Evil Power Master could be hiding and players must navigate the stars to find him. By traveling the galaxy and tracking clues, your team can eventually use the clues to boost your signal, and discover his whereabouts. But beware! The Evil Power Master will throw many dangerous challenges your way as you try to stop him.
In the box
154 Story Cards
158 DATA Cards
9Start Item Cards
4 Character Cards
1 Game Board
2 Tracking Cubes
9 Signal Booster Discs
Choose Your Own Adventure game series: War With the Evil
Power Master is for 1-8 players, ages 10+. It is designed by Prospero Hall and
plays in about an hour. Watch the Dice
Tower coverage of the previous game in the series.
Even without the help of the late Captain, the crew was able to escape the alien attack in our last episode! However, the hasty repairs to the jump core did not hold, and now the crew finds themselves locked in an alien prison! Now the crew must use all their skills to hack into the alien prison’s systems, while staying hidden and avoiding alien patrols…
Smash Up has turned the asylum over to the inmates yet again! After the success of It’s Your Fault, we decided to let the fans choose the factions that would make up the latest set of Smash Up, and they went for some powerful choices! A huge field was whittled down to the top four, and here they are: Cowboys call out opposing minions for shootouts, Samurai face their noble end in battle to bring glory to their player, Ancient Egyptians bury secrets deep in the sands, while the Vikings… well they just take other people’s stuff!
It looks like the fans nailed it this time with some of the best genres from pop culture represented in one expansion box.
Keep an eye out for The Captain is Dead: Lockdown in August and Smash Up: Oops You Did It Again in early September.
Mars is hot… literally. Most of the time, except for when it is really cold. But it is also hot as a theme in boardgaming right now, and Terraforming Mars is the leading the pack. Since its release in 2016, it launched straight to the top of the BoardGameGeek rankings and has stayed there, currently sitting in the #4 position amongst all other games. With that popularity comes expansions, and a move out and away from the surface of Mars. Terraforming Mars: The Colonies will be the fourth explansion for the game and will expand out into the rest of the solar system to put space stations in the void and on the moons of other planets. It follows the other Terraforming Mars games and will play with 1-5 players in 2 hours. It is currently scheduled to release 2018-10-15 with no word on if or when pre-orders will be available.
Fantasy Flight Games has announced plans to release a Cosmic Encounter 42nd Anniversary Edition the 3rd quarter of 2018. Tom Vasel’s favorite board game for six years in a row (2010 to 2015), could a new edition of the game cement the place on the top of Tom’s list?
The Cosmic Encounter 42nd Anniversary Edition will become the new standardized version of the game when it is released. The new edition of the game will be fully compatible with all existing Cosmic Encounter expansions.
In the far reaches of space, the aliens of the cosmos vie for control of the universe. Alliances are constantly forged and broken in the pursuit of power as starships journey from planet to planet, ready to build colonies and battle foreign powers, ensuring the survival of their people as they spread throughout the stars.
The Cosmic Encounter 42nd Anniversary Edition includes both a revised rulebook as well as an illustrated Quick-start Guide that aims to capture all of the nostalgia of the original game while making it easier for new players to learn the game. The Quick-start Guide is styled as a 1970s comic book style. The anniversary edition also includes translucent ship pieces factions will use while spreading their colonies across the galaxy.
While traditional favorite aliens will be included in set, the game will also include the ruthless Demon aliens. Previously only available at Cosmic Con, the new aliens will be included in the anniversary edition of the game. Having been exiled from earlier editions of the base game, they now seek cosmic vengeance and will use their power to possess other players’ hands, bolstering their strength while draining the strength of others.
Cosmic Encounter 42nd Anniversary Edition will also introduce new Cosmic Combo cards. These cards offer a list of alien species with a brief description of their powers to help curate themed matchups and explore different types of game strategies.
Diplomacy on a Cosmic Scale
Just like previous editions of the game, players will each take on the role as leader of their own alien species with unique abilities, seeking to expand their reach across cosmos. Players will take turns launching spaceships from their fleets through a Hyperspace Gate to reach planets beyond their home system, attempting to colonize on opponents plants.
Colonizing on other planets is not as easy as launching a ship. Each planet is already controlled by another player, and other factions may not let you place those colonies without a fight. Diplomacy will be just as important as military strategy. Once both offense and defensive players launch their spaceships, they can ask the other aliens for support in their campaign.
Other players might jump in, using their Alien Powers, Artifacts, Reinforcements, or Flares to tip the odds in one side’s favor or the other. Win the encounter and you can establish a colony, but lose and your ships will be trapped in the warp.
The first players to successfully establish colonies on five foreign planet will be the winner.
Fantasy Flight Games has announced a new age: a new age of Twilight. Twilight Imperium, that is, in the form of a fourth edition of the epic 4x space strategy game that has been loved and celebrated in the gaming industry for many years. This new edition celebrates 20 years of this epic space opera board game of expansion, diplomacy, and war to control the galaxy, best explained in this excerpt from the official release:
For twenty years, the custom space operas created by Twilight Imperium have thrilled gamers like nothing else. Now, Twilight Imperium Fourth Edition builds on the grand space opera found in previous editions while streamlining rules and putting player interaction center stage…Twilight Imperium Fourth Edition aims to be the most complete version of the game ever printed. Seventeen playable races are included in the game, offering a wide variety of starting faction options. Twilight Imperium Fourth Edition brings a galactic space opera to your table, and no two games will ever be the same.
This new version of the game will include 350 plastic units, 51 system tiles, 561 command and control tokens, 80 action cards, 50 agenda cards, 40 objective cards, 59 planet cards, 184 technology and technology upgrade cards, 41 promissory note cards, and much more.
TI veterans will likely be asking (as I did!) what the main differences are between TI3 and TI4. Some of the main changes include a stunning new graphic design and layout, but with the same great and familiar artwork flavor. Additionally, changes will be seen in game mechanisms such as Trade, Technology, PDS Units, Space Docks, Politics, and the Imperial Strategy Card, to name a few. FFG has anticipated the question of specific changes to the game in their product description, which can be read here.
Z-Man games has just announced they will be releasing Gaia Project, the spiritual successor to the wildly successful Terra Mystica. Gaia Project will be released later in 2017 and will be available for gamers to see at GenCon 2017.
The galaxy lies in the distance, full of planets full of resources waiting to be claimed by spacefarers. Your people have finally developed enough technology to head out into the cosmos and reach for the stars. Similar to Terra Mystica, Gaia Project once again invites up to four players to forge galactic empires of their own.
Fourteen unique factions will come in the game with each player taking one faction to claim planets, increase production and develop technology to colonize planets before your rivals. Grow your empire and you’ll unlock abilities and new technologies to dominate the galaxy.
Creating New Galaxies and Federations
Featuring a modular board, players will be able to create a new galaxy for exploring every time they play. Once the galaxy is constructed players need to immediately start producing the resources necessary for exploration. Only through successful good production will you have the resources necessary to power your way through the galaxy. As your tiny empire grows you can upgrade existing resources like mines, invest in your research engine, or develop your own federation to help keep your planets aligned.
Even if you manage to claim a planet before your rivals, you will still have to deal with the unforgiving environments on these new planets. Choose what planets to make habitable wisely or you’ll waste the scarce resources you’ve collected.
Starting on the Cutting Edge
You’re not starting from scratch in this game. When the game begins all fourteen factions have already developed the technology to travel between planets. You’ve also mastered the ability to terraform planets, altering the environments enough to create the conditions necessary to sustain your specific faction.
Even with this amazing technology your faction can develop further. Something you’ll need to do faster than your opponents. Investing in research will be critical, whether it be something that can boost your economy, your scientific output or your terraforming ability. Creating Quantum Intelligence Cubes will help you extend your reach beyond the planets merely adjacent to your position. With Navigation Research you can increase your range to reach distant planets that appear as mere specks.
Among the many worlds you will encounter are the Transdim Planets. These purple planets contain critical resources, but unlike other planets they cannot be built directly upon. To claim these planets you must initiate a Gaia Project. An investment in a Gaia Project grants you Gaiaformers. These powerful machines can be placed on Transdim planets to begin resource extraction.
A successful Gaia Project allows you to claim a planet that would not be suited your faction without having to go through the costly terraforming process.
A Legacy of Success
Gaia Project builds of the legacy of Terra Mystica, currently ranked as the 6th greatest game on Boardgamegeek and the 5th greatest strategy game. Terra Mystica also allows up to 4 players to represent one of 14 different factions as they terraform landscapes in competition with other factions. Terra Mystica was a big winner when it was released in 2012 and through the 2013 awards season. A selection of awards include:
Fans of science fiction and the role-playing system Fate may be familiar with Bulldogs!, the fast and furious space-faring campaign setting. Where Fate is a more in-your-face style of tabletop role-playing, so too does Bulldogs! skip much of the math and buggery to produce instead more action-packed sequences of heroics and daring-do.
Yet like space exploration, even in a pulp-style narrative, it becomes necessary to broaden horizons and Heart of the Fury seeks to do just that. The recently released supplement book adds a lot more to see, fight, and deal with in Bulldogs! adventures, as explained via the press release:
“This 260-page adventure campaign includes a dozen different adventures and new rules for Bulldogs! campaigns. Heart of the Fury adds a new Psychic skill and stunts to add mental powers to the game, three new playable alien species, and an excellent example of how to craft a full arc campaign to players’ own Bulldogs! game.”
Developed with the help of Gareth Hanrahan, Heart of the Fury is thicker than the core book and runs on the latest version of the Fate Core System to deliver long-lasting stories for those that seek them. As said by Hanrahan himself, “The Bulldogs! setting has a number of guns built into it, and I took great and unbridled glee in running around pulling as many triggers as I could. Now, it’s up to the player characters to start dodging.” For those interested, check out publisher Galileo Games’ own website to find all the appropriate avenues of procuring a copy and expanding your Bulldogs! adventures.
As the release of Ogre Sixth Edition draws near, Steve Jackson Games has announced they will start supporting organized play in 2017. Fans of Ogre will have the ability to battle it out at their Friendly Local Gaming Store for Ogre Sixth Edition rewards in addition to fame and recognition throughout the Ogre community!
Starting in January, players will be able to sign up and start learning all about the program. On February 11th, 2017, SteveJacksonGames is inviting stores to host the first ever #PlaySJGames Event to showcase the new Ogre Sixth Edition. Ogre Launch Kits will be made available to SJG’s retailers, and the first 200 stores that request one.
Contents of the Launch Kit include:
Demo copy of Ogre Sixth Edition
Ogre Blueprint poster
Ogre Dice Sets of varying colors
Uncommon Ogre Counter Sheets
More items yet to be revealed!
If you are a fan of Ogre, and seek to have organized play in your area, encourage your FLGS to sign up for a kit and get registered for Organized Play!
Further information on timing, awards, and store participation is forthcoming. You can stay up to date by following Steve Jackson Games here