solo mode

Designer Tristan Hall follows up 1066, Tears To Many Mothers with 1565, St Elmo’s Pay on Kickstarter.  1465, St Elmo’s Pay is a strategic card game about the Siege of Malta in 1565.  The game comes with two asymmetric decks based on the historical figures at the battle: Lala Mustafa Pasha, the campaign commander for the Ottoman Empire, and Jean Parisot de Valette, the Grand Master of the Knights of St John.  Players play cards to build their armies with units, attachments, leaders, and special tactics, but they will also have to accomplish other historical objectives unique to each leader on their way to Malta, adding a narrative aspect to the wargame.

Like all of Hall Or Nothing productions, this two player game is also supports a solo mode, supported by an AI mode with variable difficulty.  Some of the cards have solo specific effects!

The armies in both 1565, St Elmo’s Pay and its predecessor 1066, Tears To Many Mothers are interchangeable, allowing players to pit the Ottoman Turks against the Duke William’s Normans or the Knight of St John against Harold Godwinson’s Saxons. Future plans for the company include additional games in the series featuring all new theaters of conflict that will not only provide players a new stand-alone game, but also two new armies to challenge the other armies in the series in a duel for the best army in history.

The Kickstarter campaign runs through November 1 with expected delivery in September 2020.  Backers can support 1565, St Elmo’s Pay, and pick up 1066, Tears To Many Mothers as well.  Each game also has beautiful neoprene playmats depicting the battle that can also be added to a pledge.

1565, St Elmo’s Pay plays 1-2 players, ages 10+, in 30-40 minutes.  The game includes 154 cards, 80 wooden health tokens, 20 boost tokens, a first player token, and two rulebooks (one for solo play).

Interested in an easy to pick up and equally easy to teach game with multiple modes of play and a unique, new theme? Dance Card!, designed by Michael Melkonian and now on Kickstarter, might be just the ticket – a dancing game for 1-to-4 players where timing, positioning, and collecting your nerves will be the key to success, just like real dancing! Whether playing solo, competitively, or cooperatively, all players will try to dance well with their partners around the dance floor of Sackson High through the tension of die rolls. Your friends, your placement, and some smooth moves can help mitigate these rolls and lead to victory.

“You get to play as one of 32 unique students at the Sackson High homecoming dance, and you’ll need to dance with all three of your partners to win the game. Whether you’re an experienced gamer, or brand new to the hobby, Dance Card! offers tactical fun the whole family can enjoy.”

Don’t be fooled by the high school aesthetic and colorful art, there’s a lot of refinement here that makes it more than just a modern, original theme that’s new gamer friendly. It’s deceptively simple, and that’s the point – it’s the draw of the theme and the ease of play that will bring it and your family & friends to the table and surprise everyone with variety and depth. The speed of play, combined with the wide assortment of characters and modes, means there’s a lot of replay value and a reason to explore it game-after-game. A highlight of this golden era of board gaming is that recent designs have grown past tired themes of the previous decade and leveraged accessibility to bring fun and depth to a wider audience, and Dance Card! is a prime and excellent example of this. If you’re interested in learning more about Dance Card!, please check out it’s Kickstarter campaign page for multiple previews, full rules, FAQs, community feedback, and more!

Detective: City of Angels, from Van Ryder Games and designed by Evan Derrick, is a 1-5 player deduction game that is now back on Kickstarter with a brand new expansion, Smoke and Mirrors!

The base game is set in 1940’s Los Angeles where players take on the role of LAPD Homicide detectives as they are taken along a narrative-driven experience and attempt to solve 9 different cases. Each detective is competing to be the first to solve the case. However, one player is The Chisel who is attempting to misdirect the players! If you want a cooperative experience, there is a mode for that as well.

Detective: Smoke and Mirrors adds 4 new cases to the game (originally 3 but the stretch goal was reached). These cases are more complex and challenging than the cases from the base game with new mechanics, new types of cards, and new requirements to solve the case! Instead of just identifying the guilty suspect, the murder weapon, and the motive, players will now also have to identify each additional accomplice that was involved as well as where the next crime could take place.

For more information, check out their Kickstarter campaign here.

Solar Storm is a cooperative survival game designed by Ayden Lowther for 1-4 players. You are the crew of a space vessel caught in the gravitational pull of a sun, taking damage from solar flares, with your energy core knocked out. Your ship is made up of eight rooms, each with a unique power, and the energy core. You win the game if you divert power from each of these eight rooms to the energy core, so your ship can escape. Your ship will take damage each round, and if one area of the ship takes too much damage, or you run out of resources to fix the ship, then your ship is doomed and you lose the game.

The game’s solo mode is designed by Jason Broad. In the solo mode, you are the ship communications officer, directing your crew of three workers and their communal supply of resources.

Pledge levels include the base game or a deluxe version. The deluxe version includes larger meeples and an eight room mini-expansion, which increases variability. The Kickstarter campaign runs through 7:00 am EST on October 3rd. You can test the game out by downloading a pnp version or heading to Tabletop Simulator.

For those familiar with Mint Works and Mint Delivery, Five24 Labs has come out with a new game to add to the series called Mint Cooperative, designed by Jonathan Gilmour and Brian Lewis.

This is a 1-4 player cooperative game that comes packaged in a a replica of a mint tin. Players will take on the role of heroes attempting to defeat the villain they choose to face for that game. Mint Cooperative is a dice-rolling game where players will have difficult choices to make in terms of where to mitigate damage. The villain wins if Regional Panic reaches above the threshold they can withstand. However, the heroes win if the players can survive enough Mayhem before Regional Panic ensues.

For more information, check out their Kickstarter campaign here.

Coraline: Beware the Other Mother is a cooperative game for 1-4 players that brings the chilling story by author Neil Gaiman to the table! This game brings the animated sensation to life using the same artwork found in the film.

Players will work together as the Ghost Children who were captured by the Other Mother to free Coraline and her parents from this twisted Other World! They will go up against Mr. Bobinsky and his jumping mouse circus, come face to face with the Other Father on his mantis tractor, attempt to take the pearl ring from Miss Spink and Miss Forcible, and steal the Skeleton Key and Snow Globe to hopefully help Coraline escape this wretched place. However, players are on a clock because once the button shadow eclipses the moon, Coraline will never be able to escape the Other World and players will have lost the game.

This game will be available for pre-order September 23, 2019 and will release in December 2019. For more information, click here.

Catacombs Cubes is on Kickstarter now and is being brought to you by Elzra Games with illustrations by Denis Martynets. Rather than flicking as in previous Catacombs games, players will be building 3D structures with wooden resource cubes.

Catacombs Cubes takes 30-60 minutes to play and accommodates 1-5 players. Yes there is a solo mode. And the game is fully kid friendly as well.

Players gather resources in the form of wooden cubes of various shapes and sizes. These are then used to build actual 3D structures each specific to a different building to be added to the village grid. Completing a building rewards players with victory points and other rewards. Additionally players can spend coins to perform special actions and unleash combos. When the town is complete, the player who contributed the most to the town is declared the victor.

Play options include either rolling dice or using tiles to draft resources and including or removing take that mechanics.

Visit the Kickstarter page for a look at the completed manual, how to play animations, and previews/reviews. Both English and German editions are part of this Kickstarter project. Backer level options include the base game, an expansion, an additional player character, plus backer exclusive tiles! A playmat of the town of Stormtryne is even available as an add-on.

The Kickstarter campaign runs through Friday 9/6 12am CDT. So check it now.

Renegade Games is bringing Circadians: First Light to retail in September, and you can pre-order your copy now. Circadians is a sci-fi strategic dice-placement, resource management and engine building game for 1-4 players. It was designed by S J Macdonald, a co-designer of Architechts of the West Kingdom, and successfully kickstarted in January 2019 by Shem Phillips (Garphill Games), the other co-designer of Architechts.

In the game, players are leading research teams with variable powers on the planet Ryh, collecting samples while negotiating favor with the three local clans. The game has a vibrant color palette and distinctive artwork by Sam Phillips.

The only difference between the Kickstarter version and the retail version of the game is the former includes the small Allies Expansion pack with four additional player factions, which will be getting a limited retail release. Both versions feature linen finish, black core cards, premium wooden tokens, thicker box, translucent dice, plastic molded insert, and a solo mode. If you missed the Circadians: First Light Kickstarter, now is your chance to snag a copy.

The next big thing designed by Jamey Stegmaier is Tapestry, a 1-5 player civilization game that plays in 90-120 minutes. The game was revealed on Stonemaier Games’ weekly livecast video on Facebook.

In Tapestry, you start from nothing and advance on any of the 4 advancement tracks (science, technology, exploration, and military) to earn progressively better benefits. You can focus on a specific track or take a more balanced approach. You will also improve your income, build your capital city, leverage your asymmetric abilities, earn victory points, and gain tapestry cards that will tell the story of your civilization.

Stonemaier website

The game features art by Andrew Bosley, of Everdell fame, and sculpts by Rom Brown. The first English print run of 25,000 is complete and the game is sailing from production to fulfillment centers now, with each box individually numbered. Tapestry will be available for preorder through Stonemaier’s website in early September, and will be for sale at Essen Spiel.

Some tidbits from the video: Tapestry is not tied to real world history. The rulebook is only four pages long. The factions have asymmetrical starting points. The solo mode is by Automa Factory. The game includes a spatial placement element somewhat similar to A Feast for Odin.

Over the coming weeks, additional game details will be revealed through the Tapestry Facebook group and the Stonemaier website.

Dice Throne Adventures, designed by Gavan BrownNate ChatellierManny Trembley and published by Roxley, is a new expansion to Dice Throne that adds a cooperative and solo campaign!

Players will choose 1 of 16 heroes to play and explore a randomly generated world. You will battle against minions, earn rewards and loot through a Diablo inspired system, permanently upgrade your heroes whether you win or lose, and conclude each session with a boss battle against a Fallen champion who grows stronger as the game progresses.

Dice Throne Season One: Rerolled is a remastered edition of Dice Throne Season One. Roxley reimagines the original 6 heroes as well as adding two new heroes: Treant and Ninja!

For more information, check out their Kickstarter campaign here.