Seth Johnson

Calliope Games are releasing a number of games from some very accomplished designers through the 2nd quarter of 2019.


“Ahoy, captain. Set sail for fun, adventure, and riches! Your savvy crew does your bidding, stacking your hold with the most profitable crates. Will you choose glittering treasure, colossal cannons, or perhaps some risky—but lucrative—contraband? Outwit and outbid all others to earn the biggest bounty…but above all, keep everything ShipShape!” [source]

ShipShape is a new game by the legendary designer, Rob Daviau (known for Betrayal at House on the Hill, and Pandemic Legacy), which has each player controlling a ship over the course of 3 voyages. During the voyages (rounds), players bid using numbered crew cards to claim unique crate tiles off the central stack. They then fill their holds with gold, cannons, and contraband, and cover up what they don’t want. At the end of each voyage, coins are scored when players compare what’s visible in their holds against each other. The player with the most scored coins at the end of the game wins. ShipShape caters for 2-6 players, aged 8+, and plays in roughly 20-50 mins.

Everyone Loves a Parade

“Everyone loves a parade! It’s a beautiful day, and your hometown is excited to watch all the fun, pageantry, and spectacle of the event! But first, the floats that will thrill the crowd must be built…and the one who crafts the most exciting floats will become the Grand Marshall!” [source]

In Everyone Loves a Parade, designed by the seasoned designer Mike Mulvihil (known for HeroClix, and Golem Arcana), players act as float designers. They select colorful decoration cards (flowers, balloons, and flags) to add to their floats and win over the crowd. The crowd is represented by dice showing colors and items they wish to see. Decoration cards allow immediate actions which allows players to move or re-roll crowd dice. Players reveal their secret order cards at the end of each round, which allows them to perform one last action, then enter their completed float into the parade in front of a crowd. Players gain points for giving the crowd what they want, and the player with the highest score after 3 rounds wins and becomes the Grand Marshal. Everyone Loves a Parade caters for 2-6 players, aged 8+, and plays in approximately 20-50 mins.


“Direct a vast network of spies all around the world! As the head of a clandestine spy agency, gather intelligence files that have been strategically divided, and use them to maneuver your agents across the globe and accomplish daring missions. Along the way, uncover secret directives and powerful spy gadgets to give your agency the advantage over your rivals. The mission awaits, spymaster!” [source]

Players are in control of intelligence agencies and manipulate their spies all over the world in SpyMaster, designed by Seth Johnson (known for HeroClix, and Golem Arcana). A spymaster deals intelligence cards into stacks of files then, in clockwise order, lets players choose a stock from them using the I-split-you-choose mechanism. The intelligence cards players gather allows them to move agents into position to control areas which meet mission requirements, then claim mission cards. After 5 rounds, the player with the highest value of accomplished missions, along with any bonuses from intelligence cards remaining, wins. SpyMaster caters for 2-6 players, aged 8+, and plays in about 30-60 mins.

titan series

Gateway games – the fun, easy-to-learn games that suck people into the hobby, are a very important part of growing the board gaming hobby. In order to make games accessible to anyone, Calliope Games has decided to create The Titan Series. From the Kickstarter:

The Titan Series is a line of gateway games—casual, family-friendly tabletop gamesbeing created by some of the best game designers (“Titans”) in the world. Each a legend within the gaming industry, these Titans are responsible for such wildly popular games as Magic: The Gathering, King of Tokyo, Shadowrun, MechWarrior, HeroClix, Quarriors!, Risk Legacy, and many more.


Their plan is to release nine (or more) gateway games over the next 3 years. If you back the entire project, it will average around $16 per game – significantly less than the $30 retail price that they’re aiming for. Calliope is also relying on the backers to help with the game creating – honing the rules, choosing art, and voting on names.

Currently, the first three games (coming out in year 1) are:

  1. A worker placement game by Zach (Golem Arcana, Got ‘Em!) & Jordan Weisman (BattleTech, HeroClix, Shadowrun) with bidding, bluffing, and deduction
  2. A risk management game by Paul Peterson (Guillotine, Smash Up) where you move and manage your dice along pathways
  3. A party game by Richard Garfield (Magic: The Gathering, Netrunner, King of Tokyo) where you get points for responding the same way as other people

Calliope plans for year 2 to have games by Eric Lang (XCom: The Board Game, Quarriors!), Seth Johnson (HeroClik, Golem Arcana), and Mike Selinker (Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, Axis & Allies, Betrayal at House on the Hill). Year 3 will feature Mike Elliot (Dice Masters, Thunderstone), Rob Daviau (Betrayal at House on the Hill, Heroscape, Risk Legacy), and Mike Mulvihill (BattleTech, Shadowrun). Additional games will be unlocked in the stretch goals.

If you’re interested in the Titan Series, check out the Kickstarter here.


roll for it deluxe

Roll For It! Deluxe Edition

Designed by Chris Leder and first published in 2011, Roll For It is a dice rolling game where players match dice results to cards for points.  This deluxe edition features artwork from Echo Chernik, 48 metallic and translucent dice, a velvet dice bag embroidered with the Roll For It! logo, and an embossed tin with hinged lid.  The deluxe edition will be available during PAX Prime, August 29 through September 1 in Seattle, Washington.

Titan Series

Calliope Games also announced the Titan Series.  This series of nine “gateway” games is a

…collaboration between Calliope and master designers including: Rob Daviau, Michael Elliott, James Ernest, Matt Forbeck, Richard Garfield, Seth Johnson, Eric Lang, Mike Mulvihill, Paul Peterson, Mike Selinker, Jordan Weisman, and Zach Weisman.

The Titan Series will be initially all funded through Kickstarter and delivered to backers.  Afterwards, the series will be available in retail stores.  The press release also reports that a “sizable discount” will be available to backers of all nine games.



Thunderbox Entertainment has teamed up with Calliope Games to bring Tsuro to the app world for Android and iOS.

“It was important to me that the soul of the game wasn’t lost in Tsuro’s transition from the table to the tablet” comments Ray Wehrs, President of Calliope Games. “Of all the developers who approached us looking to turn Tsuro into an app, Thunderbox proved to be uniquely qualified to enhance the game digitally while maintaining the feel and experience of playing around the table.”

This digital port is expected to release early 2015.


golem arcana

Harebrained Schemes will be releasing Golem Arcana at Gen Con 2014.  Golem Arcna is an action point allowance and movement game on a modular board.  The game’s stylus reads an invisible code on the bases of the miniatures and you can either roll an electronic die or a physical and quickly input the results.  Designed by Seth Johnson, Michael Mulvihill, and Jordan Weisman the game is for 2 to 8 players with a playtime of 45 minutes.

From the publisher:

Golem Arcana is an expandable board game of the battles between armies of magical Golems, the Mages who master them, and the Ancient Ones they call on for supernatural powers. Though the Golem Arcana game mechanics are deep and sophisticated, the game moves quickly and is accessible by a very wide audience due to all of the mechanics and record keeping being handled by the game’s TDI stylus and mobile App.

The initial two player game includes a game board (larger than the one in the video), 6 fully painted and assembled Golem figures (50mm+ tall) and the TDI stylus. Expansion sets will add more figures, game boards, and thus the ability to add additional players.

golem arcana figure

Players assemble armies looking for the combination of attributes and special actions that allows them to realize their strategy. A typical army would consist of four to six Golem figures, each with an associated Golem Master or Blood Knight, and a couple of Ancient Ones to supply supernatural powers. Golems are represented on the game board with pre-painted figures while the Golem Masters, Blood Knights and Ancient Ones are presented in the game as digital characters within the mobile App.

August, 2014:

Base Game Set
Durani – The Khan’s Pyre Expansion (Harpy, Fire Ram, Winged Preserver)
Gudanna – The Khan’s Pyre Expansion (Sand Lion, Dune Viper, Fire Djinn)
Urugal – The Khan’s Pyre Expansion (Horned Blight, Plague Bringer, Carrion Raptor)
Zikia – The Khan’s Pyre Expansion (Bramble Horn, Woodguard, Dryad)
Map Tiles Set 1

September, 2014

Durani Jagara Colossus
Map Tiles Set 2


Golem Arcana: Zikia The Khan’s Pyre Expansion

Three new Golems for your Golem Arcana Army. The Zikia Spirits of the Wildwood Expansion includes:
-The Bramblehorn, a fast warsprite design to flush out the enemy.
-The Woodguard, with its mighty shield arm.
-The Wildwood Dryad, a titan that can entwine enemies in deadly Grasping Vines.

Also included are three banner stands, three TDI Golem Cards (matching the figures), two double-sided Mana Well tokens, and four new Relic Cards that can be used to augment any Golem army:
-The Tendrils of Smera: an ancient wand that can be used to ensnare an enemy in tangling roots.
-The Tree of Life: an enchanted growth used for healing.
-The Rooted Road: a magic door that can teleport Golems into cover terrain anywhere on the battlefield
-The Cistern of T’Lo-Lu: an artifact that can be used to grow heavy cover.

Golem Arcana: Urugal The Khan’s Pyre Expansion

Three new Golems for your Golem Arcana Army. The Urugal Keepers of the Pyre Expansion includes:

-The Horned Blight, a warsprite designed to close on the enemy and enter melee.
-The Plague Bringer, with its dreaded Necrotic Grasp.
-The Carrion Raptor, a titan that can suck the life out of its foes.

Also included are three banner stands, three TDI Golem Cards (matching the figures), two double-sided Blessing and Curse tokens, and four new Relic Cards that can be used to augment any Golem army:
-The Bone Scarab: an artifact that can be used to destroy enemy Relics.
-The Lamp of Dusaka: a censer capable of destroying ground cover.
-The Bone Gate Totem: a fetish that can be used to resurrect and command the dead.
-Zayla’s Cauldron: allows a Golem to inflict an automatic Critical Hit on an opponent.

Golem Arcana: Gudanna Khan’s Pyre Expansion

Three new Golems for your Golem Arcana Army. The Gudanna Terrors of the Steppes Expansion includes:
-The Sand Lion, a fast warsprite that can hamstring opponents.
-The Dune Viper, a elusive ogre that dishes out Slippery Strikes.
-The Devil Djinn, a titan that attacks with a Lava Lance that penetrates enemy armor.

Also included are three banner stands, three TDI Golem Cards (matching the figures), two double-sided Mana Well tokens, and four new Relic Cards that can be used to augment any Golem army:
-Baylr’s Dagger: a blade that can be used to disable an enemy knight.
-Zyama’s Censer: an artifact that allows players to reactivate depleted Mana Wells.
-Santapa’s Ward: a portable cyclone that can be used to block Line of Sight on the battlefield.
-The Gauntlet of Ganna: allows a Knight to leech valuable Action Points away from the opposing army.

Golem Arcana: Durani Khan’s Pyre Expansion

Three new Golems for your Golem Arcana Army. The Durani: The Khan’s Pyre Expansion includes:
-The Jeweled Harpy, a warsprite that can buffet enemies across the battlefield.
-The Winged Preserver, a titan that wield an enormous scythe.
-The Fire Ram, a ranged specialist that rains down Fiery Shrapnel.

Also included are three banner stands, three TDI Golem Cards (matching the figures), two double-sided Blessing and Curse tokens, and four new Relic Cards that can be used to augment any Golem army:
-The Bulwark of Vajra: a portable defensive fortress.
-Daku’s Lens: a gem that temporarily extends a Golem’s attacks out to a practically infinite range.
-The Peridot of Hantra: a gem that temporarily allows any ranged attack to affect an entire cluster of targets.
-The Idol of Preyas: a portable weapon that can be emplaced on the battlefield.

Golem Arcana: Tile Set 1

An additional set of the same six double-sided map tiles included with the Golem Arcana Base Game Set

Coming in September

Golem Arcana: Durani Jagara Colossus (170 mm)

Standing at 170mm tall (6 1/2”), The Jagara Colossus is the largest Golem in the Durani arsenal! The Jagara not only wreaks havoc on enemies with its terrifying Apocalyptic Blast, it’s so mighty that it destroys terrain and obstructions as it strides across the battlefield.

Also included are ten Wake of Destruction cards, and two new Relic Cards that can be used to augment any Golem army:
-Hantra’s Gems: that can be used to heal the Jagara in battle.
-Zyama’s Amulet: that allow the Jagara to dig a new mana well!

Golem Arcana: Tile Set 2

An additional set of six double-sided map tiles that can be used to expand the Golem Arcana battlefield. These tiles feature more “urban” terrain and can be combined with the tiles in Golem Arcana Basic Set.