Scythe

The Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts and Design presented the Origins Awards Saturday June 17th at the annual awards show held at the GAMA hosted convention Origins in Columbus, OH.  As part of this winners were announced in seven categories along with a fan favorite award in each category as well.

We would like to extend congratulations to all award winners.

Game of the Year

Scythe – Stonemeier Games

Board Game of the Year

Scythe – Stonemeier Games

Family Game of the Year

Happy Salmon – North Star Games

RPG of the Year

No Thank You, Evil! – Monte Cooke Games

Best Collectible of the Year

Pokemon XY11 Steam Siege Booster – The Pokemon Co.

Best Accessory of the Year

Blood Rage Organizer – Broken Token

Card Game of the Year

Mystic Vale – AEG

Origins is one of the biggest conventions in the US for gaming, and they have been giving out their awards for the best each year.  The different categories include family games, role-playing games, card games, game accessories, board games, collectible games (CCG, TCG, etc.), miniatures, and finally a Game of the Year.  Some of the past winners include great games like Codenames, Imperial Assault, and 7 Wonders Duel, so you know bad games aren’t getting these awards.  But that’s enough background information, here are the nominees for the 2017 Origins Awards:

Family Games (6 Nominees)

Role-Playing Game (10 Nominees)

  • 7th Sea: Second Edition by John Wick Presents (designed by John Wick, Mike Curry, Rob Justice, Mark Diaz Truman, Jesse Heinig)
  • Curse of Strahd by Wizards of the Coast-D&D (designed by Jeremy Crawford, Tracy Hickman, Laura Hickman, Adam Lee, Christopher Perkins, and Richard Whitters)
  • No Thank You, Evil! by Monte Cook Games (designed by Shanna Germain and Monte Cook)
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens by Fantasy Flight (designed by Tim Flanders, Corey Konieczka, and Sam Stewart)
  • Shadowrun-Seattle Sprawl by Catalyst Game Labs (designed by Raymond Croteau, Jason Hardy, James Meiers, O.C. Presley, Scott Schletz, R.J. Thomas, Malik Toms, Thomas Willoughby, CZ Wright, and Russell Zimmerman)
  • Symbaroum by Järnringen and co-published by Modiphius Entertainment (designed by Martin Grip, Mattias Johnsson, Mattias Lilja and Johan Nohr.
  • Storm King’s Thunder by Wizards of the Coast-D&D (designed by Jenna Helland, Adam Lee, Mike Mearls, Christopher Perkins, and Richard Whitters)
  • Star Wars: Edge of the Empire-Special Modifications by Fantasy Flight (designed by Blake Bennett, Tim Cox, Jordan Goldfarb, Sterling Hershey and Monte Lin)
  • The One Ring: Horse: Lords of Rohan by Cubicle 7 (designed by Shane Ivey, Andrew Kenrick, T.S. Luikart, Francesco Nepitello, and James Spahn)
  • Volo’s Guide to Monsters by Wizards of the Coast-D&D (designed by Jeremy Crawford, Ed Greenwood, Adam Lee, Mike Mearls, Kim Mohan, Christopher Perkins, Sean K. Reynolds, Matthew Sernett, Chris Sims, and Steve Winter)

Traditional Card Games (8 Nominees)

Game Accessories (4 Nominees)

  • Blood Rage Organizer by The Broken Token (designed by Greg Spence)
  • Dungeon Morph Dice Adventurer Set by Inkwell Ideas / Q-Workshop (designed by Joe Wetzel, Dyson Logos, Matt Jackson, Shane Knysh, Tim Ballew, Dave Millar, Sigurd Johansson, AJ Stone)
  • Flip ‘N Tray Mat Case by Ultimate Guard (designed by Adrian Alonso)
  • Improved D Total by Gamescience (designed by Dr. A.F. Simkin, Col. Louis Zocchi, Frank Dutrait)

Board Games (10 Nominees)

  • Blood Rage by (designed by Eric M. Lang)
  • Clank! by Renegade Games (designed by Paul Dennen)
  • Cry Havoc by Portal Games (designed by Grant Rodiek, Michael Oracz, Michael Walczak)
  • Feast for Odin by Z Man Games/Asmodee (designed by Uwe Rosenberg)
  • Islebound by Red Raven Games (designed by Ryan Laukat)
  • Mansions of Madness by Fantasy Flight/Asmodee (designed by Christopher Burdett, Anders Finér, Henning Ludvigsen)
  • Scythe by Stonemaier Games (designed by Jamey Stegmaier)
  • Star Wars Rebellion by Fantasy Flight (designed by Corey Konieczka)
  • Terraforming Mars by (designed by Jacob Fryxelius)
  • World’s Fair 1893 by Renegade Game Studios and Foxtrot Games (designed by J. Alex Kevern)

Collectible Games (5 Nominees)

  • Yu-Gi-Oh Breaker of Shadow Booster by Konami (designed by Konami Digital Entertainment)
  • Pokémon XY11 Steam Siege Booster by Pokémon USA (designed by The Pokémon Company)
  • Magic the Gathering: Kaladesh Booster Pack by Wizards of the Coast
  • Marvel HeroClix: Uncanny X-Men Booster Brick by WizKids (designed by WizKids)
  • Cardfight Vanguard Fighters Collection by Bushiroad

Miniatures (5 Nominees)

  • Warhammer 40,000 Kill Team by Games Workshop
  •  Konflikt ’47 by Warlord Games (designed by Clockwork Goblin Miniatures)
  • Dragon Rampant by Battlefront/Gale Force Nine
  • TANKS by Battlefront/Gale Force Nine (designed by Andrew Haught, Chris Townley, Phil Yates)
  • Dropfleet Commander by Hawk Wargames (designed by Andy Chambers and David Lewis)

It’s that time of year again, the Dice Tower has announced their nominees for the best games of 2016.  These are the best of the best according to the panel of judges on games released in English in 2016.  You can see previous winners along with this year’s nominees and their pictures on the Dice Tower Awards website, and look forward to the winners being announced at Dice Tower Con later this year.  And now, your nominees:

Best Game from a New Designer  (The game has to be the designer’s first or second published game to qualify for this award)

Best Artwork

  • Arkham Horror: The Card Game – illustrated by Christopher Hosch, Ignacio Bazán Lazcano, Henning Ludvigsen, Mercedes Opheim, Zoe Robinson, and Evan Simonet; published by Fantasy Flight Games
  • Inis – illustrated by Dimitri Bielak & Jim Fitzpatrick; published by Matagot
  • Islebound – illustrated by Ryan Laukat; published by Red Raven Games
  • Kanagawa – illustrated by Jade Mosch; published by Iello
  • Scythe – illustrated by Jakub Rozalski; published by Stonemaier Games

Best Theming

  • Black Orchestra – designed by Philip duBarry; published by Game Salute
  • Captain Sonar – designed by Roberto Fraga & Yohan Lemonnier; published by Matagot
  • Roll Player – designed by Keith Matejka; published by Thunderworks Games
  • SeaFall – designed by Rob Daviau; published by Plaid Hat Games
  • Terraforming Mars – designed by Jacob Fryxelius; published by Stronghold Games & FryxGames

Best Two-Player Game

Best Reprint

Best Expansion

Best Party Game

  • Codenames: Pictures– designed by Vlaada Chvátil; published by Czech Games Edition
  • Captain Sonar – designed by Roberto Fraga & Yohan Lemonnier; published by Matagot
  • Happy Salmon – designed by Ken Gruhl & Quentin Weir; published by North Star Games
  • Junk Art – designed by Jay Cormier & Sen-Foong Lim; published by Pretzel Games
  • Secret Hitler – designed by Mike Boxleiter, Tommy Maranges, & Max Temkin; published by Goat Wolf & Cabbage

Best Cooperative Game

Best Family Game

  • Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle – designed by Forrest-Pruzan Creative, Kami Mandell, & Andrew Wolf; published by USAopoly
  • Ice Cool – designed by Brian Gomez; published by Brain Games
  • Junk Art – designed by Jay Cormier & Sen-Foong Lim; published by Pretzel Games
  • Karuba – designed by Rüdiger Dorn; published by HABA
  • Sushi Go Party! – designed by Phil Walker-Harding; published by Gamewright

Best Strategy Game

  • A Feast for Odin – designed by Uwe Rosenberg; published by Z-Man Games
  • Great Western Trail – designed by Alexander Pfister; published by Stronghold Games & eggertspiele
  • Scythe – designed by Jamey Stegmaier; published by Stonemaier Games
  • Star Wars: Rebellion – designed by Corey Konieczka; published by Fantasy Flight Games
  • Terraforming Mars – designed by Jacob Fryxelius; published by Stronghold Games & FryxGames

Best Board Game Production

  • Conan – designed by Frédéric Henry, Antoine Bauza, Pascal Bernard, Bruno Cathala, Croc, Ludovic Maublanc, & Laurent Pouchain; published by Monolith
  • The Others – designed by Eric M. Lang; published by Cool Mini or Not
  • Mechs vs. Minions – designed by Chris Cantrell, Rick Ernst, Stone Librande, Prashant Saraswat, & Nathan Tiras; published by Riot Games
  • Scythe – designed by Jamey Stegmaier; published by Stonemaier Games
  • Star Wars: Rebellion – designed by Corey Konieczka; published by Fantasy Flight Games

Most Innovative Game

Best Game from a Small Publisher  (The published must have published five or fewer games at the beginning of 2015)

  • Arkwright – designed by Stefan Risthaus; published by Capstone Games
  • Cottage Garden– designed by Uwe Rosenberg; published by Edition Spielwiese
  • Not Alone – designed by Ghislain Masson; published by Geek Attitude Games
  • Roll Player – designed by Keith Matejka; published by Thunderworks Games
  • Vast: The Crystal Caverns – designed by David Somerville; published by Leder Games

Game of the Year

  • Adrenaline – designed by Filip Neduk; published by Czech Games Edition
  • Captain Sonar – designed by Roberto Fraga & Yohan Lemonnier; published by Matagot
  • Cry Havoc– designed by Grant Rodiek, Michał Oracz, & Michał Walczak; published by Portal Games
  • A Feast for Odin – designed by Uwe Rosenberg; published by Z-Man Games
  • Great Western Trail – designed by Alexander Pfister; published by Stronghold Games & eggertspiele
  • Inis – designed by Christian Martinez; published by Matagot
  • Mechs vs. Minions – designed by Chris Cantrell, Rick Ernst, Stone Librande, Prashant Saraswat, & Nathan Tiras; published by Riot Games
  • Scythe – designed by Jamey Stegmaier; published by Stonemaier Games
  • Star Wars: Rebellion – designed by Corey Konieczka; published by Fantasy Flight Games
  • Terraforming Mars – designed by Jacob Fryxelius; published by Stronghold Games & FryxGames

It’s that time of year, the financial year is winding down with taxes coming due this week, so what better time than now to run a Kickstarter to raise your next year of operating costs?  The folks over at the Secret Cabal Gaming podcast thought so (not really) and so right now they are running their annual fundraiser.  One nice thing about the fundraiser is that once they pass their funding goal they will upgrade different aspects of their show, like their studio, personnel, and the content they offer.  Of course, no good gaming fundraiser would be complete without promos and other fun items you can pledge for.  The promo pack for this campaign is pretty great with promos for Near and Far, Scythe, Terraforming Mars, 51st State, and Unfair.  Plus they have lots of other items like lapel pins, challenge coins, patches, and you can even become an Agent of the Cabal!

The campaign will be running until May 8th so if you are a fan, or just want that pack of promos, then check out their Kickstarter page and pledge today.

Stonemaier Games has announced that they are planning to release Scythe: The Wind Gambit in the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2017, an expansion to the award winning game Scythe which was released in 2016.

The Wind Gambit expansion will change the game in two fundamental ways:

  1. The Airship Module will expand the world of Scythe by helping factions take to the air with new technology.
  2. The Resolution Module will change the way each game ends.

With 700 playtesters now having played the expansion over 450 times, the expansion has moved toward the next stage of production and is in the hands of the graphic designer.

While still working out the production details, Stonemaier Games anticipates that it should be priced similarly to the $30USD MSRP of the Scythe: Invaders from Afar expansion. Unlike Scythe, no Kickstarter campaign or pre-order campaign will launch this expansion.

The expansion is currently scheduled for a release at Essen 2017 which takes place October 26-29.

The Airship Module

The Airship Module was a fan creation designed by Kai Stark and shared in the Scythe Facebook Group. Impressed by the design and well written rules, Scythe designer and Stonemaier Games founder Jamey Stegmaier began working with Scythe artist Jakub Rozalski and Stark began collaborating to bring the expansion to market.

The rules for the Airship Module expansion as described in the announcement:

In the airship module, 2 airship tiles are randomly paired at the beginning of the game (one passive and one aggressive). Each player’s airship miniature (a new type of unit; 1 big miniature for each of the 7 factions) has those abilities, as well as the core ability that airships are free to move onto any territory (land or water) and across rivers. Each player starts with their airship on their home base, so they can start moving out of their home area right away.

As components, the airships will be released with one airship in each faction color for a total of 7 new airships. Designed by Heriberto at Märchen Atelier, the airships will be 80mm long, looming large over the Scythe landscape.

Resolution Module

While fans had been creating and playing the Airship Module, Stegmaier had been working on an expansion of his own. The Resolution Module adds “resolution tiles” that alter the way in which the game end is triggered. The Wind Gambit will include 8  resolution tiles, with 1 being used each game.

Big Empty Box

How will fans fit Scythe, the Map Board Extension, the Invaders from Afar expansion and The Wind Gambit Expansion in one box? This won’t be the first time Jamey Stegmaier has been asked that question. On March 16 Stegmaier posted a lengthy blog article about how often he had been asked that question, the challenges with coming up with a solution, and where his thinking is headed.

It appears he has settled on box dimensions and a distribution plan for the box if third-party vendors come on board:

I’m currently considering reaching out to a few of our accessory and third-party vendors (US and international) to see if they would be interested in sharing a print run of a big empty box for Scythe. I would configure the box (maybe using the original illustration or a different one) to be twice as deep as the original Scythe box but otherwise the same dimensions, which are designed to fit on a game shelf.

Scythe Awards

Scythe has been cleaning up in 2016 and 2017 awards categories. Winner of (among many others):

  • 2017 As d’Or – Jeu l’annes Expert (Cannes Golden Ace Game Award – Expert Game of the Year)
  • 2016 Swiss Gamers Award Winner
  • Boardgamegeek Golden Geek 2016 Game of the Year Winner & winner in 4 additional BGG 2016 Golden Geek Categories

The Best of 2016 episode of the Dice Tower had both Eric Summerer and People’s Choice ranking Scythe as the best board game of 2016.

Funding for the 13th season of The Dice Tower is now alive and running on Indiegogo right now! The Dice Tower, and Dice Tower News by extension, can only operate on the generosity of all of our readers, viewers, and fans. It is through your kindness and support that we are able to bring to you all the latest in board gaming releases and reviews. Plus, the money made through these fundraisers allows the Dice Tower to grow and better serve the board gaming community with increased quality and content.

As with every year, the fundraiser offers awesome incentives for donations in the form of gamer swag, promos, and exclusives! This year is no exception, as there are a ton of promos for hot games that have released in the past few years. Some notable examples to get excited about are promotional cards for Scythe, Millennium Blades, Onitama, Coup, Clank, Adrenaline, 7 Wonders: Duel, and many many more! We can’t forget the awesome figures and cards coming from Cool Mini or Not: Chuck for Arcadia Quest: Pets and  Eric Summerer for Zombicide: Black Plague.

                   

Of course there is always the option to donate however much you want regardless of perks, as any and all support is greatly appreciated. So if you’ve ever benefited from a review, preview, top 10 list, or news article, please consider supporting our Indiegogo campaign. On behalf of all of us in the Dice Tower Network, thank you for the many years of viewership and patronage, and we hope to continue serving great content in the years to come. Thank you!

iron-harvestiron-harvest1

As the lines between the digital and analog application of games blurs, we have just heard the announcement of a real time strategy video game based in the Scythe universe called Iron Harvest.  Not much has been mentioned other than the style and setting of the game, but they do promise “a dynamic storyline and open, sandbox-style levels”.  Real time strategy games have typically been games based around building up your base and armies and then working to accomplish an objective or just wipe out your opponents.  Being able to do this in the Scythe universe could be a whole lot of fun.  You can check out more on the upcoming game on Polygon, and then consider grabbing a copy of Scythe to play.

spiel 16

The trade fair with the most impact for both Germany and the board gaming hobby is only a smidge more than a month away, and with it come even more hot releases, demos, prototypes, and exciting news just in time for the Holiday shopping season. Taking place this October 13th through the 16th in Essen, the 2016 Spiel is expected to continue the record breaking growth they’ve been experiencing, which is terrific news and further evidence of the oft observed “Golden Age” that this hobby still experiences. According to the press release from Internationale Spieltage:

“[…]SPIEL has grown by more than 50 percent in the last four years. This year it looks as if more than 160,000 visitors will enthusiastically respond to the SPIEL motto “Come and play!”

Over a thousand exhibitors across multiple exhibit halls, each showing off their best and newest releases to the public. It’s not just the size though, that’s exciting. As the press release highlights, there are some interesting trends being showcased this year among the hundreds of entries into the gaming fray. Specifically, this year is seeing a spike in team-building games, the stuff that makes for memorable get-togethers with friends and family. The one-and-done genre of Escape Rooms meant to challenge groups to muster wits and overcome puzzles will be available in a swath of tabletop titles and live-event rooms at the fair. In addition, the instantly popular Codenames: Pictures and Captain Sonar will certainly be drawing large crowds.

sola fide

This year also marks the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation in Europe, and there are games to recognize it. Notably, two new releases come thematically celebrating Martin Luther and the historic religious change he ushered: Stronghold Games’ Sola Fide and Zoch Verlag’s Mea Culpa. There will also be family-friendly events and quizzes in various locations, topping the already broad, educational, and heatlhy range of activities the fair has to offer.

fields of green

Let’s not forget the big releases rolling over from Gen Con, which will certainly see the same kind of fervor that I wrote about a few weeks ago. Seafall and Scythe are two of this year’s most anticipated titles and I can imagine the European public wanting to get their hands on copies all the same. I feel obligated to draw attention to a few more titles that will probably be incredibly popular as well. Artipia Games will have their newest Kickstarter title and spiritual sequel to Among the Stars, Fields of Green,  available for demo and backer pickup. Hobby World will have Spyfall 2 there, which will add more locations, higher player count, and two spies! Finally, Bombyx will have Legendary Inventors on hand, a game that I played in prototype form and was highly impressed with how deep yet accessible it is.

If you’re interested in seeing more games confirmed to be available at the 2016 Spiel, please check out this preview thread at boardgamegeek.com. Many thanks and much respect to Eric Martin for working diligently to compile all of that for the community. For more gaming news and images regarding the upcoming Essen Spiel, please check out our new Instagram page that joins our news, twitter, and video coverage.

scythe

Scythe, the hit from Stonemaier Games, is going to be hitting stores very soon.  Scythe is a 4x style game set in the alternate history of the 1920s, where the first world way has just ended and countries have heavily armored mechs.  The facility that produced these marvels, The Factory, has closed it’s doors, and so now five different factions are vying for control.  Players take on the roles of these different factions and try to claim The Factory and the surrounding area to help win them the game.

Scythe enjoyed great success during it’s Kickstarter and has received critical acclaim from reviewers and gamers that have received copies.  Look forward to getting your own copy when they hit store shelves in October.

Another thing to look forward to is the first expansion for the game in the form of Scythe: Invaders from Afar.  This expands the available factions from 5 to 7, giving you more variety for those who play the game often.  Look for this bit of gold to hit store shelves in December of this year.

watch it played rodney

Rodney Smith, widely considered the nicest guy in board games has launched a crowdfunding campaign to support Watch It played for another year. Watch It Played is a YouTube channel that’s main focus is to teach viewers how to play games, and does it well. The channel also releases a significant number of game play videos in which viewers are asked to participate by helping make decisions for the players between episodes.

Here, Rodney explains why he’s asking for support:

“I have had the privilege of working on Watch It Played full time because of the support of my family, sponsors and viewers like yourself. The money I make from the show is how I contribute financially to my family, which allows me to keep creating videos.

If you have enjoyed some of the videos we create, please consider making a donation and claiming a perk!”

This year if the campaign is successful, extra funds will be used to:

  • Organize a live-streamed day of game playing
  • Support Pep MacDonald’s ongoing contributions to the Channel
  • Update the set and acquire better equipment

As with any crowdfunding campaign, Rodney is offering Perks to those who support Watch It Played. These perks include game promo’s such as a playable Rodney character for Dead of Winter by Plaid Hat Games; FLGS location card for 51st State from Portal Games; a Scythe encounter card from Jamey Stegmaier; Above and Below Building from Ryan Laukat, and a limited quantity of last year’s Promo’s. Also, as my favorite available perk, you could be listed as a Producer at the end of Watch It Played videos, and get early access to game play content.

This is Rodney’s only fundraiser for the year, so if you’re looking to offer your support, check out the IndieGoGo Campaign now.