Simultaneous Action Selection

In an interesting turn of events, a popular card game is getting a subsequent board game version instead of vice versa as is typically the trend. Space Race, now on Kickstarter, is a more fleshed out version of it’s predecessor with more cards, a premium table presence thanks to it’s components, and more robust strategies. The gameplay is similar to what fans of the card game already know – this is a simultaneous action selection game where the actions to choose from dwindle over time as players compete for cards and points. What separates the two beyond the obvious physical differences is that scoring happens more often in the new one, changing how important breakthroughs are in comparison.

“Space Race is a unique engine-building strategy game for 1-4 players (5 with the Deluxe Bundle). You become a director of a newly formed Space Agency and your mission is simple: lead your country onto the pages of history as the nation that has conquered the Universe! Hire astronauts and scientists, develop technologies, initiate space programs, and celebrate astonishing breakthroughs.”

While this is a big step from it’s previous card game version, the same typical dynamic applies – one is a lighter game with a much smaller footprint while the other is the opposite. That said this new Kickstarter doesn’t so much reduce it’s predecessor as much as it embellishes it, and that’s a great thing for a game that really deserves attention drawn to it’s excellent core mechanic. There’s even two expansions on offer during this campaign that add more cards, projects, and rocket miniatures modeled after historical space-faring designs. If you’re interested in learning more about Space Race, check out the Kickstarter crowdfunding page to read the full rules, watch reviews, and see community feedback and updates.

All Manor of Evil, by Kolossal Games, is an interactive game of larceny, hidden agendas and Lovecraftian horror for 1-6 players.

The game takes players inside the mind and abode of H. P. Lovecraft. Players enter the house looking to steal ancient relics but have they bit off more than they can chew? During the escapade, unseen forces awaken and madness stirs – will anyone survive to escape with the loot? Beyond the larceny at hand, each player has a secret agenda of their own. Some want only to survive the night, while others wish to call forth an elder god eager to devour the players… or the world.

All Manor of Evil is played over a number of game rounds. Each Round has three phases.

Select Actions
Players simultaneously select one of their four action cards each round. Each Action card has a Title, Initiative Order, Card Action and Room Action. Then, all players simultaneously reveal their cards. Any players who selected the same Action Card as at least one other player take a Madness Token from the supply.

Action Cards are resolved in initiative order with the lowest number first. If more than one player chose the same card, those players resolve their actions in clockwise order starting at the Lantern (first player) token.

Resolve Actions
When resolving an Action Card, first resolve the Card Action and then the Room Action. Room Actions require the player to steal a relic from one of the rooms on the Manor Board. Players MUST steal a relic from one of the rooms listed on their Action Card if possible. If the rooms don’t have a relic, there is nothing to steal.

The Madness Value and Relic Value on each of the Relic Cards will be considered at the end of the game.

Players will only know the values on the top card of each player’s Cache. The uncertainty of just who has the most madness adds to the tension of the game!

Once a relic is stolen, place or remove Awakening Tokens, gain or lose Madness Tokens and resolve any indicated special effect on the card.

End of Round
After all players have resolved their action cards, the round ends. Players check to see if any Elder Gods have six or more Awakening Tokens and if so the game ends. If not, the player with the Lantern Token passes it to the next player in clockwise order and the next round begins.

Game end
A game of All Manor of Evil ends when one of three game-ending conditions are met. At that point, each player reveals their Role Card and all abilities are resolved. Assuming that the thieves have not destroyed the world by awakening several of the ancient gods, the remaining players will total their Madness and Relic Values. Total up the Madness Tokens and the Madness Value of all cards in each players’ Cache. The player with the most Madness has delved too deep into the dark and unknown and is eliminated. The remaining players will then compare the total value of stolen relics to determine who among them was the most successful looter.

All Manor of Evil is the 2nd Mikro campaign from Kolossal Games and the 9th overall campaign from Kolossal Games. The Kickstarter campaign runs until November 16 with delivery planned for July 2019.

Pandasaurus Games dropped some news today about two new things happening for 2019.  First of that is a new hire in the form of Jon Gilmour who will be the head of Game Development for any games being designed within Pandasaurus.  Given that Jon Gilmour was one of the designers behind two of their big hits, Wasteland Express Delivery Service and Dinosaur Island, you can expect any new games coming from Pandasaurus to be that much more polished.  Speaking of new games, that brings us to the next announcement from Pandasaurus Games.

Coming in June 2019 will be a new game called Dead Man’s Cabal, all about resurrecting yourself a group of friends so that you can throw a party and have actual guests.  You see, you are playing as a Necromancer at the top of his game, and having mastered all 9 dimensions of space time there is nothing that is out of reach for you.  Nothing, except maybe making some friends as this pursuit has deemed you creepy to everyone, everywhere.  But who needs them, you can resurrect yourself a group a friends and throw an awesome party, that will show them!

Dead Man’s Cabal is an action selection game where you will choose two actions each round, one that you will perform privately by yourself, and one you perform with the whole group.  This adds an extra level of strategy to the game because not only do you need to accomplish your goals, you don’t want to be helping others accomplish theirs.  You will be using these actions to collect resources in the form of bones and crystal skulls, and then using those to bring back some fun people to party with.  Whoever throws the best party will win, although it’s not mentioned how that will be determined.  One aspect of the game that people will enjoy is that all the bones and skulls in the game will be 3D pieces and so it will help level up the experience.

Be on the lookout for more information as it comes out, but you won’t see it on store shelves for several more months until at least June of 2019.

After a successful Kickstarter campaign in 2015, Trickerion: Legends of Illusion is back on Kickstarter to raise funding for its first major expansion – Trickerion: Dahlgaard’s Academy. In addition, a Kickstarter-only Collector’s Edition is available.

Trickerion: Legends of Illusion is a thematic, medium-heavy Euro-style game of rival stage illusionists. You play as a Victorian-era magician vying to gain the most fame. To accomplish this, you assign your team of apprentices and specialists to various tasks, using worker placement and simultaneous action selection.

Euro fans have generally had very positive reviews of the base game and anticipation is high for this expansion content.

Restore the academy, become the rector

In the expansion, four new magicians make their appearance, trying to crack the mysteries of Dahlgaard’s Manor. This dilapidated old manor is a key new location in the game and holds powerful secrets. Use your abilities and tenacity to renovate it to its former glory by adding classrooms and practice areas, improving your skills and teaching your students tricks. Perhaps you will find Dahlgaard’s hidden library, learning some well-kept secrets in the process.

As an extra bonus, you have added a new member to your crew – your Protégé – whom you can groom as you like using customizable abilities. Build your Protégé’s skills enough and s/he could become your most valuable crew member.

Blinged-out Collector’s Edition

Publisher Mindclash Games is offering a complete Collector’s Edition of Trickerion, which is only available during this Kickstarter campaign. For those who already own the base game, don’t feel left out! You can pledge for a Collector’s Edition Upgrade Pack.

The Collector’s Edition includes everything we’ve ever released for Trickerion: the base game with a revised rulebook, the Dahlgaard’s Gifts add-on pack, the Dahlgaard’s Academy expansion, two sets of metal coins, and more to come. The Collector’s Edition will come in a large, uniquely numbered box with alternative artwork – it will look amazing on your gaming shelf! The Collector’s Edition will not be available in retail.

Finally, for all of you soloists out there (like me), an out-of-the-box solo mode allows you to compete against Dahlgaard’s heir, a corrupted magician.

 

Interested? Head on over to the Kickstarter page to learn more.

Take a look at what the Dice Tower has to say about Trickerion: Legends of Illusion.

Filler games have come to be known as short, light games you play at the start and end of game nights to fill time while other people arrive, or to try and squeeze out just a little bit more time gaming.  Well Green Couch Games intends to confuse us all when talking about a filler game as they have created a card game called Filler.  While this may seem like another game in the joke series of games from Dice Hate Me Games, this is actually a card game about filling pastries with all sorts of delicious fillings.  The will use many aspects together like multi use cards, set collection, resource management and simultaneous action selection.

At the start of the game you have just a hand of three cards, and from these cards you will simultaneously determine player by each picking a revealing a card at the same time.  From there you will go in turn order playing down cards to fill orders that are in the central row, and with those filled orders get more cards, money, customer reviews, or critical acclaim.  But be careful, played cards stay down until you take a turn to pick them back up, so plan careful so you don’t miss filling critical orders.  As you progress you will have more and more ingredients to use to complete bigger orders for more acclaim, and at the end it will be the most prestigious baker that wins the game.  Green Couch will be Kickstarting the game in April, but if you miss it there you will be able to find it on store shelves in the 3rd quarter of this year.  You can read the press release below for more information.

(Grand Rapids, Michigan) – Green Couch Games springs ahead with the ultimate “Filler” card game!

You are a pastry chef in charge of putting delicious fillings in a variety of cakes, pastries, and baked goods. By coming to work early and making use of your full pantry of supplies, you will earn money, customer reviews, and critical acclaim. With a little luck, you might win out over your rivals and be crowned Star Baker!

Filler combines many of the ingredients that have made Green Couch Games a treat to bring to the table. Easy-to-learn rules mixed with a quick playtime and playful appearance makes Filler a great game for families of casual gamers or connoisseurs looking to pass the time waiting for more guests to arrive.

In the game, players will use multi-use cards and a blend of simultaneous action selection, time and resource management, set-collection, and hand-building to collect ingredients needed to fill tasty pastries on their way to becoming the Star Baker. Starting with a hand of 3 cards with various start times and basic ingredients, players will choose a card to reveal along with other players to determine the turn order. The earliest player to show up for work goes first and so on around the table. Using cards from their hands (Pantry), players may use ingredients they have acquired to Fill recipes from a central row of available cards (Recipe Book) or Restock The Pantry by picking up all of their previously played cards. Each recipe filled will provide new start times and ingredients to use in future rounds and may earn points that are represented by money, customer reviews, or critical acclaim at the end of the game. The availability of bonus points and cards containing special actions help to direct players’ choices in the kitchen, add depth of play, and provide variety and replayability.

This card game crams a lot of sweet delight into its 72-card package. With illustration and graphic design by Claire Donaldson (Best Treehouse Ever: Forest of Fun, Go Nuts For Donuts, Food Truck Champion), Filler will  leave players with a mouth-watering desire to play this delicious game again and again.

Filler is a game for 2 to 6 players, ages 8 and up and is designed by Jonathan Chaffer of GRUBS (Grand Rapids Unpublished Boardgame Society). This game follows Chaffer’s first game, Stroop, from Grand Gamers Guild. The game plays in 20-30 minutes.

The game is set for a Kickstarter campaign launching on April 11th, 2018 with plans for a Q3 2018 release.

Green Couch Games was founded by Jason Kotarski to release great little games that make great big connections. Filler will be its 11th release. Jason is also a game designer and co-host of 20 Minutes of Filler.

 

Arcane Wonders has announced its new 2 player mech on mech combat game, Critical Mass from designer Kevin Chang. Previously known as Starborne, Critical mass is a simultaneous action selection game, where players each secretly pick a combat card from their mech-specific deck, then reveal simultaneously. The combat cards can be offensive or defensive, and each show a speed rating, determining in what order they take effect. Played cards remain in a discard pile until they are reloaded. Each mech has 4 critical systems, protected by Armor plates, represented on the mech board with wooden cubes. The first player to lose all 4 of their critical systems is destroyed. The first release of Critical Mass will feature the mechs Patriot and Iron Curtain, hinting that more mechs will be coming in the future.

Look for Critical Mass in Stores in July 2018. You can check out the press release from Arcane Wonders on their webpage here.

Osprey Games is publishing Reiner Knizia’s latest game, Sakura.  In Sakura, players are artists who are following close behind the Emperor as he wonders through his garden.  The goal is to be closest to the Emperor when he stops to regard the blossoms of the sakura tree so that you may improve your painting and gain prestige.  But as the artists jostle for position behind the Emperor, they must be carful not to disgrace themselves by accidentally bumping into the Emperor, causing them to lose prestige and fall back.

In Sakura, players simultaneously select their actions by playing cards that move their character, one of their opponent’s character, and the Emperor.  Each card has a turn order that determines the order which the moves are resolved, changing the positions of the characters before the next card is resolved. Sakura is a light tactical game of pushing your luck to gain the most prestige.

The game supports 2-6 players, ages 10 and up, and plays in 20-40 minutes. Contents include playing board, 60 cards, 52 prestige tokens, 6 player figures, and an Emperor figure.

The game will be available on 22 February

Sabordage is the french term for scuttling, that is purposefully sinking a ship to either avoid capture or because it was engaged in illegal activities.  Sabordage, the game, runs similar to it’s meaning in that you are trying to hastily build your ship, while making sure everyone else’s ship is sunk.  In the game Black Beard is on his death bed, and so as a final act shares the location of his treasure with you, as well as with all the other pirates.  So now it’s a race to build you ship, but no one wants to share the treasure so the fighting is already fierce by the time you get to the port.  Over the turns you will be drafting tiles to add to your ship and figuring out when the best time to fight and when is the best time to build.  Outsmart your opponents and get onto the sea with your ship in tact and you will be the winner of this quick and fun family game.

The game is designed by Romeo Hennion and boasts a play time of only 30 minutes for two to five players.  You can find out more about the game on Renegade Games’ website, and look for it on store shelves in March of this year.

Even though the holidays will soon be upon us, companies are already preparing for the next year with some new games.  First on that list is the next expansion for the Aeon’s End card game from Indie Boards and Cards. Aeon’s End is a card game in which each player has their own deck, specific to the breach mage they choose, and will have to work together with the other players to defeat the nemesis they have chosen.  You will have to work well together as the nemesis has their own deck and will be fighting back, quite viciously, to defeat you before you can cast them out.  The new expansion, called Aeon’s End: The Void, adds in two new nemeses and two new breach mages, as well as new gems, relics, spells, and minions.  So if you enjoy the game, be sure to check out this expansion when it hits store shelves in January of 2018.

Next we have two expansion decks coming from Plaid Hat games for the Ashes, Rise of the Phoenixborn card game.  The two new decks are The Goddess Ishra, and The Boy Among Wolves, each of which will require an Ashes base game in order to supply the needed dice.  These two decks just expand even more the options of cards you have for the game and bring two new phoenixborn into the game.  The Boy Among Wolves has the highest battlefield number in the game at 10, meaning he can have lots of units in play at once.  This is especially important because his abilities and cards lead to summoning a large number of units in a very short amount of time.  The Goddess Ishra is more about control, offering average stats but having a highly useful ability of being able to exhaust a unit when an attack is declared, either by your opponent or you.  She also continues this sense of control with her cards that specialize in controlling the actions of your opponent, and even so far as to controlling some of your opponent’s units.  Both of these decks will be hitting stores soon and you can find out more on the Goddess Ishra preview and the Boy Among Wolves preview on the Plaid Hat site.

Finally we have a new food truck themed game from Adam’s Apple Games, and that is Truck Off: The Food Truck Frenzy.  This is a simultaneous action selection type game where you will be picking where you will park your truck, and then trying to sell food there.  The game is played over five rounds and each round consists of picking where you park, and then picking your special action for the round.  For each location you will then roll their specified die, from a d4 up to a d20, and the result will be equally split among the trucks that are present there, earning each truck owner money.  At the end of five rounds the winner will be the one who managed to bring in the most money.  So if this light food truck themed game sounds good to you, look for it on store shelves in January.

GenCon is only one short week away, so lets see if some of these Kickstarter campaigns can take your money before you leave.

First up is the fourth campaign for the Reaper Miniatures line called Bones 4.  Reaper is known for long waits from campaign to fulfillment, exemplified by the Feb 2019 delivery date, but also for high quality minis at an amazing price.  This time around your $100 will get you 85 different minis in a fantasy setting, with figures of things like dragons, goblins, wizards, knights, kobolds, and more.  Plus as more stretch goals get unlocked, more minis are added to the base pledge, sending it’s value skyward.  So if you can wait a couple years for your minis, check out the Kickstarter campaign.

Next is a dexterity card game where you are literally throwing weapons at your opponents, called Rise of the Exiled.  In Rise of the Exiled you are playing as a character from four different guild, vying for control of the city they live in.  To play the game you will select your character and place them on the table.  Each round you will move your character one card length, and then throw your weapon, depicted on a clear plastic card, at your opponent.  Where you are located is important because your hand can’t go past your character on the table when throwing, and where you hit your opponent determines how much life they lose.  You also have the option to use your character’s special ability to tip the scales in your favor, and if you are the last one standing you win.  With simple play like that and varying powers between the characters, this could be a fun, light, dexterity game.  Check out the Kickstarter page for more information.

After that is a deduction style game called Visitor in Blackwood Grove.  In this game one player will be playing the crash landed alien, and the rest either the local kid who found him, or the agents trying to capture him.  For this game the alien will make a “pass” rule for items that will pass through his force-field, and then in order the agents, kid, and alien will begin selecting cards and finding out if they pass through or not.  As more information is collected eventually someone will figure out the rule, at that point they prove it by drawing four cards and classifying them based on if they pass or not.  If they are right then that team wins, if they are wrong then play continues until someone does get it right.  There are more rules for the agents and kid but that is the basics of the game, keeping it a light deduction game.  Plus with nice looking art and good components, this project is worth it for you to look at.  Check out their Kickstarter page today.

Following that is a magazine being put out by Steve Jackson Games that is all about Ogre, called Ogrezine.  The Ogrezine is going to be a collection of articles about different ways you can change and modify how you play Ogre.  One example they have released is the article Dambusters, which details how to use and include a dam as well as flooding into a Ogre game.  This is all to celebrate 40 years of the game, and so in addition to the magazine you can back for other stuff for Ogre included the base game itself.  So if you are interested in more content for you Ogre game, check out their Kickstarter page.

Next is a fantasy fire fighting game from Red Genie Games called The Brigade.  In this competitive fire fighting game you are leading a fire brigade to help put out fires in the town of Tinderbox.  The cause of these fires is the pyromancer school in the center of town, and they are continually raining fireballs down upon the surrounding buildings.  It will be up to you to move your water carriage and fire brigade around town, putting out fires and spreading tales of your deeds to the surrounding population.  You will also have the option to upgrade your fire house, get more crew, and acquire special abilities to help you better fight fires.  The game will end in one of two ways, someone gets enough loyalty to the town or quarter, or the town is evacuated because of the fire, and at that point the person with the most loyalty wins.  With good art and gameplay that gives you good choices while not drawing the game, I think this one is worth a look.  Head to the Kickstarter page to check it out.

Another interesting game is coming from Green Couch Games called Before the Earth Explodes.  The Earth is in bad shape in this game, and it’s up to you to either find the resources to fix it, or find a new place to call home.  In this 2 player card game you will simultaneously select actions, with each action having different abilities and benefits.  Some of these let you draw cards, gets ships, get more resources, or damage your opponent directly.  And there are multiple ways you can win from eliminating your opponent, advancing all the way on the tech tree, colonizing seven planets, or satisfying the requirements for a ship card.  Any way you go you will have to try and out think your opponent, because each action card has another card that blocks it, so if you are too obvious in what you are doing next, your opponent can thwart you.  Plus if you take damage, you are out for the round, allowing you opponent to move forward on checked.  So if you enjoy these types of games, check out the Kickstarter page for more information.

And last, but not least, we have the expansion to the quirky themed game Feudum called The Queen’s Army.  What the Queen’s Army does is simply add a new AI player to the game working against the players.  With this new addition you can now play the game cooperatively against the Queen, while still have a single points winner, or if you are playing solo you now have someone to play against.  There are also options in this campaign to get the base game and other expansion in case you missed the original Kickstarter.  So if you are looking to get into Feudum, or just want to expand your copy even more, head over to the Kickstarter page.