Stronghold Games is bringing out a new edition of Diamonds, the popular trick-taking game for 2-6 players designed by Mike Fitzgerald. The second edition includes redesigned player cards, redesigned player aids, as well as the Thief mini-expansion. The new player cards have eschewed the black border look in favor of a more traditional, easier to read visual design, while maintaining the splash of color in the middle of the card.
Gameplay remains the same. Each suit (hearts, diamonds, clubs, spades) has a corresponding suit action that triggers when a trick is won, when a player does not follow the suit that was led, and at the end of a round of ten tricks for the player with the most cards of each suit. Players collect diamonds (acrylic crystals, not the suit), first into their showroom and then moving them into their vault. Diamonds can be stolen from a player’s showroom, but not from their vault. At the end of the game, diamonds in showrooms are worth one point and diamonds in vaults are worth two points. The Thief mini-expansion adds a rotating thief token and changes the suit action for clubs. The new suit action allows the player triggering the action to take a diamond from the showroom of the player with the thief token in front of them.
Diamonds second edition is scheduled for a September release, however Gen Con attendees will get an early opportunity to acquire the new edition of Zee Garcia’s #1 card game (as of this Top Ten from 2016).
Potion Explosion, a board game where you collect ingredients to make potions, is coming out with a second edition and new a new expansion. The first edition of the game was great, and the second edition will be identical in all regards, except for one major part. In the first edition of the game the dispenser that holds all the marbles was assembled by players out of cardboard, and just didn’t feel that sturdy when it was being used. The second edition fixes that with an all new plastic dispenser that comes assembled so you can pop it out the box and off you go. Game play doesn’t change and you are still collecting marbles to make potions and score the most points.
As for the expansion, this one is called Potion Explosion: The 6th Student, and adds not only the components needed to go up to 6 players, but also includes the plastic dispenser, and all new gameplay elements. Some of the new gameplay options include mandragora leaves, an ingredient that you collect and explode like all the other ingredients, but when used in potions counts as a wild. But be careful, even though it’s wild, it can’t be mixed with any other ingredients. Also being added are potions that require multiple players in order to create, and a game mode utilizing two dispensers for when you are playing with 5 or 6 players. So if you like Potion Explosion then check out this expansion for sure.
Both the second edition of the game and the 6th Student expansion will be available at Essen later this year, and then look for it on store shelves shortly after that.
Warhammer: Age of Sigmar was released three years ago to the pleasure of some, and disdain of others, but has been going strong as THE fantasy skirmish game set in the Warhammer universe. Now three years later the game has grown and changed, and so to clean things up Games Workshop is going to be doing a new edition of Age of Sigmar Core Rulebook. In this new edition will be an expanded narrative and lore, cramming lots of new background and history to the many places and times you have heard about in the game. Also they have managed to add in one thing players have been asking for, maps, lots and lots of maps of all the different locales you can take your armies. Plus they have refined the rules of the game to play faster and cleaner while somehow making it more fun to play. They have even teamed up with tournament organizers and champions to create some of the best competition rules for the game to date. So whether you are a veteran or a new comer, this new core book will be everything you need to drive headline into the Age of Sigmar universe.
You can find out more information on the Warhammer Community website, and look for this jam packed core book on store shelves in June of this year.
Pirates and buried treasure will be evergreen themes forever and it’s easy to see why – They’re really cool! The Robert Louis Stevenson ones are, anyway. Those pirates embody romanticized adventurism, individuality, and freedom, albeit fueled by debauchery and greed, and their intrigue makes them charming. It shows in howmanyprominentboard games exist with the theme, but one game, Skull Tales, stood out in trying to capture every inch of it back in 2015. Now there is a second edition of the game on Kickstarter, and after having shown off it’s fantastic new miniatures and rules updates it has blown far past it’s funding goal in less than a day! As described on the campaign page:
“Skull Tales, created by David Illescas, is a semi-cooperative game for 1-5 players aged 14 and up. The approximate playing time in Campaign Mode is between 60-90 minutes for one scenario and about 150 minutes for a complete chapter (Voyage, Adventure and Port). The game also includes 52 miniatures – not counting stretch goals! Set sail on the Southern Lady and explore the beautiful Caribbean sea, ripe with fearsome enemies and amazing treasures. Fame and fortune await you!”
It’s exciting to see Skull Tales: Full Sail! funded with such enthusiasm so quickly and it really speaks to how satisfyingly thorough the game seeks to be. You really do have the opportunity to adventure like a pirate of fiction, embarking on voyages to abandoned islands, following a story of treasure and fame, fighting other ships, braving supernatural horrors, and unloading your ill-gotten gains at the nearest port. The game has also certainly come a long way from it’s first edition as well, and the backers of the original have certainly taken notice and their support for this project after 3 years speaks volumes. If you are interested in learning more about Skull Tales: Full Sail!, check out the Kickstarter page and the publisher’s website for gameplay videos, rules, community feedback and reviews!
The Second Edition of A Game of Thrones: The Card Game still has a long road ahead of it to catch up to the amount of content that was released for it’s predecessor. However, fans can agree that the streamlined rules of the second edition breathe new life into the long-running series and the steady release of new content for it is just as fresh as ever. That is why it’s exciting news that the fifth big expansion, Sands of Dorne, is available now. As described by it’s announcement on Fantasy Flight Games’ website:
“In the southernmost reach of Westeros lie the sweltering deserts of Dorne. Under the rule of House Martell, this region stands separate from the rest of the Seven Kingdoms, divided geographically by imposing mountain ranges, and culturally by an indomitable spirit and a thirst for vengeance. Today, you have your chance to join them.”
This new expansion brings many hallmarks of the deserts of Dorne, House Martell, and the Sand Snakes to the intense tactical mechanics of the card game. The theme of these cards embellish patience and whittling down opponents over time, even when things aren’t going your way. Featuring more of the incredible second edition artwork and attractive new strategies with existing cards, the new expansion is a great addition for fans and new players alike. For more information about this expansion, be sure check out the thorough write up on Fantasy Flight’s website which has previews, explains synergies, and more!
Two new games that have been recently announced include an English edition of the game Catch The Moon from Surfin Meeple, and the second edition of a game from Twilight Creations called MARTIANS!!!. Catch the Moon is a easy to learn and play dexterity game where you are stacking ladders to be the first one to reach the moon. On your turn you will roll a die which imposes some kind of placement rule like it has to touch only one ladder, it has to touch two ladders, it has to be the highest point, and so on. Then you take a ladder and try to stack it according to the rule, if you can’t then you have to take a tear, but you also still have to place the ladder. When you run out of ladders or tears the game ends, and whoever has the fewest tears will be the winner. This amusing little dexterity game will be available in stores in June of this year.
MARTIANS!!! is another game in the ZOMBIES!!! line that Twilight Creations is known for, and pits the humans against a horde of martian invaders. One person will play the martians, trying to take over the Earth, and everyone else will be playing the humans who are trying to beat back their advance. The game itself is easy to play as on your turn you will roll dice to determine your movement speed, then if you stop on a space with a martian, you fight them! Combat is also just as easy because you just roll a die and on a four, five, or six you kill the martian and add it to your collection, if not then you either need to spend bullet tokens to obtain a winning roll, or lose a life. Manage to make it to the mother-ship with the components you need to blow it up and the humans win, else the tide of martians engulfs the land. Of note for this release is that it’s a second edition, meaning all the usual updates and tweaks are included to make it look and play better than the original. Look for this new edition on store shelves towards the end of April this year.
Solarius Mission is a space-faring eurogame from the creators of La Granja, Michael Keller II and Andreas “ode” Odendahl. It’s unique for being a 3X game, exhibiting all the features of the 4X genre minus the “eXtermination” (or combat), making for a relatively peaceful space epic as players expand, exploit, and explore the galaxy. Unfortunately, Solarius Mission saw a limited language distribution in 2016 via Spielworxx, although it still impressed many players with it’s familiar mechanics from La Granja and those inspired by Ora et Labora. Fortunately, Flying Lemur Games has announced that they’ve partnered with Spielworxx and obtained English language rights for publishing and they plan to start via Kickstarter, improving the components while they are at it. As described in their press release:
“This is a big game with lots of components – dice, cubes, tons of cardboard, minis, and cards – so we are pleased to be bringing it to Kickstarter within the next few months,” says Mischa Harris, CEO of Flying Lemur Game Studio. “And, we’re going to do it right, with a deluxe version to really make it pop on the table.”
This is excellent news for people around the world that have been waiting to play this game, especially fans of La Granja and deep, brisk eurogame sensibilities. Solarius Mission is a game that really deserves to see a wider audience, being a member of a small club of space-themed games that lacks interstellar conflict yet still keeping the gratifying sense of technological progression and discovery. It’s nicer still that this game will go through Kickstarter first, as the visuals of the first edition were frankly simple and lacking and could use the deluxe treatment. If you are interested in Solarius Mission and it’s upcoming Kickstarter, keep an eye on the Flying Lemur Games Twitter page for announcements and dates.
In 1920’s Arkham, you know what lies ahead of you: The sanity-wrenching horror of Lovecraftian terror. Mythos tales is a deduction game set in the world of H.P. Lovecraft’s quaintly chilling Arkham. Originally published in 2016, Grey Fox Games has produced a 2nd edition and included errata and corrections within to enhance game play.
Players use all the tools they can, sparse as they are, to piece together the macabre truth behind the many mysteries in Arkham. Newspaper articles, allies with knowledge they don’t realize is connected, residents of Arkham, and a map of the city help you follow the clues and find the hidden secrets. Each game you match wits with mad Armitage, trying to uncover the darkness before in time. Can you best him?
Mythos Tales plays in 1-2 hours and is for 1 to 8 keen investigators. There are 8 cases to solve, giving you plenty of hidden mysteries to enjoy. This new version features the same artwork as the original and should be in stores shortly. The first printing received the Dice Tower Seal of Approval.
‘Nemo’s War by designer Chris Taylor is getting a mini-expansion and a new printing of the Second Edition via Kickstarter. The original printing was extremely successful and is almost sold out almost everywhere, driving up demand (and prices!) on the secondary market. Victory Point Games has added an expansion for both new Little Nemo’s and those who already have the game.
A sign of the popularity of the game, the kickstarter was fully funded in just four hours with over 3,000 backers now having pledged over $100,000 of the $30,000 campaign goal. The campaign ends December 21st 2017 at 7pm MST with an estimated shipping date of December 2018. Simplifying pledge levels, the Nemo’s War expansion pack is available for $5, and the base game with the expansion pack is available for a pledge of $59.
The Nautilus Upgrades Expansion Pack is a small expansion of simply 12 new Nautilus Upgrade cards. The cards include the Clockwork Cipher, the Adventurer’s League, Nemo’s Manifesto, Prize Crew Quarters, and 8 more.
The base Nemo’s War game is a solo board game filled with both undersea exploration and combat. Set in 1870 players will enter the world of Jules Verne’s novel Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Seas. Playing as Captain Nemo himself, players will dive through the oceans in the electric powered Nautilus submarine, traveling the world seeking both knowledge and vengeance.
The newest printing of the Second Edition of the game is described as featuring enhanced production quality, and features of the art and graphics of Ian O’Toole throughout the game.
A third expansion has been announced for Mansions of Madness Second Edition, although the first two expansions that have been released didn’t technically add anything new to the game. All Recurring Nightmares and Suppressed Memories brought was any content from the first edition that wasn’t already included in the second edition, but now we have something brand new. Beyond the Threshold will bring all new content to the game in the form of new characters, another monster called a Thrall, and more spells, weapons, objects, and affliction cards. Associated with this expansion will also be two new scenarios that will be unlocked in the app that utilize the new content found in this expansion.
More content for this game is never a bad thing, and you can look for this to come out at the beginning of 2017. To find out more information you can check out the preview on the FFG website.