Scott Almes

Deep Water Games has announced they are bringing the excellent card game Claim (2017) to North America in 2019. Claim, by designer Scott Almes of no tiny fame and artist among artists Mihajlo Dimitrievski, is a 2 player trick taking game played in 2 distinct phases. Players first recruit followers using their hand of cards, which they then play against each other to win favor from the factions of the realm. At the end of the game, whoever has the majority in 3 of the 5 factions wins the game. For more information, check out Deep Water Games’ website here, and look for the game in March 2019.

First there were Kingdoms, then DefendersGalaxies, Westerns, Quests and Zombies. Now Gamelyn Games and Scott Almes have started a Kickstarter Campaign for the next Epic game in their teeny tiny line, Tiny Epic Mechs. In Mechs, 2-4 players program actions, and fight in arena combat on a map made up of square zone cards. Each player has a deck of 8 action cards, out of which they program 4, using the leftover cards as covers to hide their plan. Each action, players must first move in the orthogonal direction in which their card is oriented, although special diagonal moves and jumping moves exist. They then may execute the action on the card. Actions include healing, and the collection of resources, either credits or energy, depending which is available on their map tile. Other actions spend resources, to place mines, build turrets, or buy more advanced weaponry. Initially players can only equip 2 weapons, but if they take the upgrade action they can flip their character to the “pilot” side, don a power suit, with increased health and equipment slots to match. To represent this, players actually place their meeple in a plastic mechanized power suit. In fact, if a player moves to the giant mech in the center of the board, they can wear the Mighty Mech Power Armor, for maximum health and weapons. However, only one player can be the Mighty Mech, and the lucky wearer cannot heal while wearing the suit.

All of this buying of guns and upgrading of suits begs the obvious – if you move onto a space with another player, combat ensues. In combat, players take turns doing damage to their opponent, depending on the weapon they are wielding, and gain one victory point per damage dealt. The opponent can counter with a “power attack” if their attack type (ranged, area or melee) matches the attack type of their opponent, in a rock-paper-scissors manner. This continues until one player retreats or is knocked out. Defeated players gain an “ad hoc mode” card for a turn, allowing them to pick any action card, and not just their programmed 4. Players score for zones they control every other round, and the game ends after 6 rounds.

Check out the Kickstarter page for pictures of the amazing meeples, mech suits and cards. Borrowing from Tiny Epic Quest, the game comes with tons of plastic weaponry which attaches to the meeples and the power suits. The Kickstarter Campaign for Tiny Epic Mechs continues through October 5, and the game is expected to deliver in August 2019.

Scott Almes, the designer behind the Tiny Epic series of games and the very popular, Heroes of Land, Air & Sea, has just kickstarted a new, stand-alone game, called Boomerang.

Boomerang could be described as a card drafting game (like 7 Wonders or Sushi Go!), mixed with a roll-and-write game (like Yahtzee, or Qwixx).

With roll-and-write games taking off the last few years and card drafting already a favorite mechanism among many, Boomerang is sure to appeal to a wide swath of gamers.

In Boomerang, players are touring Australia, trying to see and do as much as they can before their holiday ends! By spotting native animals, collecting pieces of Australiana, and doing other holiday activities, players will earn points. Each round players will draft cards, mark off various accomplishments on their score sheets, and at the end of the game, the best traveller wins. You beauty!

To find out more, visit the live Kickstarter campaign. And now, the obligatory clichés: Crikey, this looks promising. G’day, mate.

Heroes of Land, Air & Sea is a 4X-style miniatures board game where players control 1 of the many factions to expand their kingdom into new territory. Players begin with a basic town hall, a couple of peons, and a single warrior and then explore the territory around them. Through the course of the game they build up their armies, workforce, and kingdom. Heroes of Land, Air & Sea, published by Gamelyn Games, is designed by Scott Almes (better known for the Tiny Epic series of games) with art by Chad HoverterAdam P. McIverIan Rosenthaler, and Benjamin Shulman. It’s intended for 1-4 players, aged 14+, and plays in about 120-180 minutes.

The base game supports 1-4 plays in various game modes such a solo, 2 vs 2, and free-for-all and includes 4 factions (Humans, Orcs, Elves, & Dwarves). If you add the Order & Chaos expansion it allows up to 6 players in 2 vs 2 vs 2, 3 vs 3, and free-for-all mode and adds 4 more factions (Undead, Lionkin, Lizardfold, & Goblins). The Pestilence expansion adds a 7th player and two more factions (Birdfolk & Merfolk).

There are also Mercenary mini expansions, which offer a wide range of heroes who can be recruited by any player without prerequisites, and a siege engines mini expansion which offers siege constructs. There is also a Printing Update Kit for those who own the first edition of the game and want to use the new expansion. If you don’t want to paint all those miniatures yourself, you can add an extra amount to your pledge to have them pre-painted.

A free app for Android and iOS is currently in development which will assist in playing the game and should be available for download in August, 2018.

The second printing of the base game requires a pledge of $84, or you can get the Pestilence expansion for $30 (both exclude shipping). There are also pledges to get add the various expansions as well as a range of add-ons. Visit the Kickstarter project page for more information. The project has already met it’s funding goal, will end on Tuesday, June 26th, 2018, and estimated delivery is April 2019.

Gamelyn Games and designer Scott Almes have just launched a new kickstarter for the latest game in the Tiny Epic series: Tiny Epic Zombies. Featuring the ITEMeeples first introduced in Tiny Epic Quest, but this time wielding modern weapons like Katanas, Machetes, various guns, chainsaws, even a rocket launcher. The players can choose to play in one of 5 different game modes (Solo, Co-op, Competitive, Co-op v. Zombie player, and Competitive vs. Zombie player) in a race for players to complete 3 objectives to win the game, but while still keeping the hordes of zombies at bay.

With variable player powers (for both survivors and zombies), a variable setup, and fast, easy gameplay, the game is already funded and breaking through stretch goals. The game is on Kickstarter until February 9th, so check it out, if you dare to face the hordes.

Things got super busy in my neck of the woods and so last week got lost in the shuffle, but luckily for us most KS campaigns last a month, so I can pick up right where I left off and show you all some quality Kickstarters to check out.  First up is is a new game in a previously established universe, and that is Chronicles of Frost from NSKN Games, a deck building game set in the Mistfall universe.  In this adventure each hero player will have an exploration quest and a search quest that they will have to accomplish in order to win the game.  Playing the game is similar to other deck builders with some differences, mainly the exertion system that NSKN has come up with.  What this does is that every card available has a normal ability and an exertion add on, meaning that if you perform the action and then spend the skills or health to exert yourself, you increase the effectiveness of that card quite a bit.  But there is a limit to how much you can exert yourself, so you have to use it carefully as you go along.  When you use cards they will give you better equipment, movement/exploration points to explore the board, attack power, and resolve, the currency in the game.  Build up your hero and take on the monsters roaming the land to complete your quests and win.  For more info you can check out the Kickstarter campaign to be able to back for your own copy.

Up next is a campaign aimed mostly at the ladies in the gaming world, and that is board game jewelry called Tabletop Talismans.  This campaign is offering people the opportunity to get necklaces, bracelets, key chains, and even earrings featuring the quintessential board game piece, the meeple.  This meeple is a shiny aluminum version so that it is durable, light weight, and shines nicely in the light, and is being offered in several different colors.  So if you want to get some meeple themed jewelry, check out their Kickstarter page.

Next on the list is a sequel/expansion to the game Best Treehouse Ever, and that is Best Treehouse Ever: Forest of Fun.  This expansion takes the original games and brings it into the forest, and with it some new mechanisms to help spice up the gameplay.  At it’s heart this is a drafting game where you are drafting different rooms to place in your treehouse to score the most points each round.  With the game being moved to the forest you now have additional bits like unique player powers based on where you are in the forest, animal cards that score based on room placement, and brand new room cards for a fresh game.  Of course this can be mixed with the original game, and there are even included rules to play the game with 8 people, so if you enjoyed the first game, this will just give you more of what you love.  To get this game you will have to hurry, the campaign ends on the 9th so check it out!

 

After that we have the digital game of the article, and that is One Deck Dungeon Digital from Handelabra Games.  This campaign was originally a stretch goal from the One Deck Dungeon Forest of Shadows Kickstarter, but they didn’t make it during that campaign so the digital adaptation was put on hold.  However, with Asmadi partnering with Handelabra Games, the possibility of a digital version of the game has been revived and launched on Kickstarter.  So in this campaign you will be getting the game One Deck Dungeon in digital format through steam.  This means that now where ever you have a computer with steam on it, you can pull out this highly rated solo game and delve through the dungeon.  The game includes everything from the base game, an excellent layout with all needed information easily accessible, a campaign mode, and animations and graphics to elevate the game from it’s physical counterpart.  So if you are looking for a nice digital version of the game, check out this Kickstarter today.

Next up is a game from Ankama Games, makers of the highly regarded Krosmaster Arena, where you are trying to scare students out of their wits.  Monster Slaughter is a game where you take command of different groups of monsters like vampires, werewolves, zombies,  or golem to scare some students.  On your turn you will take actions by rolling dice, and based on the number of successes you get will determine if the action succeeds, how much damage you do, or how many cards you can draw.  This is a competitive game where each player has a specific order in which they want to eliminate the students in, and so you will be playing cards to help yourself, but also help the students if they are getting picked on too soon for you.  Everything about the game is quick and light and in the end, whoever matched the elimination order the best will be the winner.  So if this monster movie type game is your speed, check out the Kickstarter page.

And finally we have the reprint of the list, and that’s the Folklore: The Affliction second printing.  Folklore: The Affliction is the horror themed RPG board game which aimed to turn a typical pencil and paper RPG into a self contained game.  In this game you are fighting the evil that has come upon the land, wolves, ghosts, vampires, and the undead.  Like an RPG you will be traveling around the world using a map of the land, and as you reach places in the world you will be able to zoom down onto adventure maps which are a couple tiles in size to explore that area.  You will play over a series of chapters to make up an entire campaign, and each of those chapters are playable within about an hour, allowing you to still play and progress the story even if you don’t have a lot of time.  So if you missed out on the first campaign, or if you heard great things and want to get into it now, check out the Kickstarter page today.

Green Couch Games has announced a stand alone expansion for the treehouse building game Best Treehouse Ever. Best Treehouse Ever: Forest of Fun can be mixed with the original game, giving more variety as well as increasing the possible player count up to 8.  But this can also be played on it’s own with 2 to 4 players and features some new mechanics not present in the first game.  First is the addition of player powers, giving each person something they can do that others can’t.  Another addition is that scoring happens in rounds instead of just at the end, and each round a different player will determine what scores that round.  This brings some tension to the game as now you have to build into the different colors to be able to score ever round.  Will these changes elevate this game?  I think they could.

We will find out more when the Kickstarter launches in the Fall, and when the game hits store shelves in the second quarter of 2018.  Read the press release below for more information.

(Grand Rapids, Michigan) – Green Couch Games grows a sequel with Best Treehouse Ever: Forest of Fun!

It’s time to build another treehouse!

In the new stand alone sequel to the Golden Geek Nominated Best Treehouse Ever (Best Card Game, Best Family Game, 2015), Best Treehouse Ever: Forest of Fun, players compete to build their best treehouse, outfitting their treehouse with cool rooms, and creating fun habitats for their favorite furry and feathered friends, while also making sure that their tree doesn’t tip over and that their rooms are more impressive than all of their friends’ rooms at the end of the game.

In addition, our treehouse builders have leveled up their experience by visiting new locations in the forest that provide special abilities to help them in their new build.

Building takes place over three weeks/rounds, and in each round, players use card drafting and spatial reasoning to add five new rooms to their treehouse. Players must pay attention to the other treehouses being built since they take turns determining which types of rooms score for everyone at the end of each round.

At the end of the third week, the winner is the player with the best treehouse ever!

But the best part? Best Treehouse Ever: Forest of Fun can be combined with Best Treehouse Ever to play up to 8 players!

Best Treehouse Ever: Forest of Fun will be the first “Big Box” game from Green Couch Games allowing owners of the original Best Treehouse Ever to store it all in one convenient box. The game includes 60 Room Cards with all art, 12 Animal Cards, 4 Starting Tree Cards, 6 Scoring Cards, 10 Location Cards, 4 Scoring Tokens, a folding Score Board, and 4 Balance Markers. The game will feature more great art from Claire Donaldson and Andy Jewett building on the foundation created by Adam McIver with Best Treehouse Ever.

Best Treehouse Ever: Forest of Fun is a game for 2 to 4 players (or up to 8 when combined with Best Treehouse Ever), ages 10 and up and is designed by Scott Almes. The game is set for a Kickstarter campaign in Fall of 2017 with a Q2 2018 release.

Green Couch Games was founded by Jason Kotarski to release great little games that make great big connections. Best Treehouse Ever: Forest of Fun will be their 10th release following Fidelitas, Best Treehouse Ever, JurassAttack!, Avalanche at Yeti Mountain, Wok on Fire, Rocky Road a la Mode, OutLawed!, Ladder 29, and Before The Earth Explodes. Jason is also a game designer and co-host of the  20 Minutes of Filler Podcast.

Gamelyn Games has launched a Kickstarter campaign for its new big-box game, Heroes of Land, Air & Sea, from designer Scott Almes of Tiny Epic fame.  From the Kickstarter page:

Heroes of Land, Air & Sea is a 4X style board game (eXplore, eXpand, eXploit, eXterminate) for 1-6* players that plays in 2-3 hours (30m/player), and features 80 highly detailed miniatures and over 30 constructs!  *Plays up to 6 players with the deluxe expansion.  It is easy to learn, simple to play, and won’t take up your entire weekend.

The game promotes simple gameplay (players only take two actions per round) and bucket-loads of miniatures and cardboard constructs for the visual and tactile appeal.  There are add-on options to have the miniatures pre-painted as well.  The base game comes with four different factions, while the Deluxe Expansion for 6 players, Order and Chaos, adds four more.

Players will be vying for control over a fantasy realm by exploring an enormous board, building castles and towers to cement their influence and collect resources from the land, and of course, battling with the other factions through Tactics cards.  Each X also comes with its own victory condition, meaning players may be able to choose their style of play, or at least the best way to race to victory.

The campaign is set to end Monday, June 5, 2017, and delivery is projected for March 2018.  Much more information can be found on the Kickstarter page here.

Press-your-luck is a very fun mechanism in board gaming, giving the thrill of gambling without any of the life-changing consequences. There’s a lot of themes that have worked with it over the years, from games about nurturing magical forests to parties of people trying to travel by aircraft. So how about a game that wants you to race your friends and family to the peak of a mountain inhabited by yetis? The risk and fun sell themselves in Dicey Peaks by Scott Almes (of Tiny Epic fame), a game for 2-6 players now on Kickstarter. Here’s the pitch from the campaign page:

 “Racing to the fabled flag atop Yeti Mountain, players take turns rolling dice and skillfully choosing whether to climb or rest. As you advance, you’ll reveal tiles that can help or hinder your progress. Avoid avalanches and watch out for the Yetis… for when they attack, you might lose more than just your turn!”

The big draw of this family-style game is that unlike many other push-your luck games, Dicey Peaks mixes resource management with risk management because here you can “bust” (or lose your turn) in multiple ways. You can always end up with your hands in your pockets by rolling too much of a bad symbol on the dice, but you can also yield your turn by rolling too much of a good thing. Then there are yetis who, while being a terrible danger when resting on your laurels, are also a heck of a motivator for your friends you’ve left behind, working as a sort of catch-up mechanic for opponents who haven’t fared well with the luck of the dice. So if you’re interested in Dicey Peaks, be sure to check out their campaign page to watch the excellent how-to-play video and to peruse updates as the project nears it’s funding goal.

Orcs, Humans, Dwarfs, and Elves are preparing for an upcoming war, but only one faction can emerge victorious – who will it be?

Scott Almes, the designer of the Tiny Epic series, presents a 4X style wargame for 2-4 players (5-6 with at least one Faction Pack addon) that takes 30 minutes per player to play. During the course of a round, players will be able to select two actions, some of which can be copied by others. Throughout the game, players will expand their territories, build or upgrade units and structures, and compete with other factions at land, air, and sea for valuable resources and exploration tokens. The inevitable combat is resolved in a luckless fashion: during a battle, players pick one Tactic Card from their deck (everyone starts with the same one) and add the value of that card to the strength of their army. There are 4 end-game conditions that correspond to each of the 4Xs, and when any of these are triggered, one more round will be played.

The base pledge for the game includes 80 miniatures (3 heroes, 5 warriors, and 12 peons for each of the four factions) and 32 cardboard constructs such as towers or aircrafts. Apart from an option to have the hero miniatures pre-painted, there are also faction addons available, each of them bringing two more factions into the game.

The release is anticipated in March 2018. If you are interested, you can learn more about the game on its Kickstarter campaign page.