solo variant

“Chai” is an immersive game of combining tea flavors to make your perfect blend.

The game is being brought to Kickstarter by a new company Deep Aqua Games.

In “Chai”, step into the shoes of a tea merchant, combining tea flavors to make a perfect blend. Specializing in either rooibos, green, oolong, black or white tea, buy and collect ingredients to fulfill your customer’s orders.

The designers Dan & Connie Kazmaier have created a fantastic community on Facebook, where for more than 6 month everyone had the opportunity to participate in the process of creating the game either by playtesting or providing ideas. Thanks to this strong community the game “Chai” was already funded on Day 1.

The breathtaking game art is from the talented art team: Mary Haasdyk and Sahana VJ. I fell in love with that artwork first time I saw it. According to me, this is one of the most beautiful games ever produced.

The Kickstarter is running from the 4th of December to the 7th of January and will probably unlock couple of stretch goals too. Follow along on Kickstarter or Facebook.

You can always check the previews of Tantrum House, Never Bored Gaming, ManVsMeeple or Meeple University.

Warhammer Quest Blackstone Fortress by Games Workshop is an adventure board game that puts players in the heart of an unfolding mystery in the 41st Millennium. The game is a stand-alone sci-fi, dungeon crawl board game using the Warhammer Quest brand and format.

Players take on the role of a group of explorers delving into the labyrinthine halls of a vast and ancient space station. Everyone must work together, balancing strengths and skills to have any hope of survival.

To start, each player picks an explorer and starts on the adventure. Your characters will grow, develop and pick up new gear between runs, with each journey offering greater rewards – and greater dangers. With each expedition, you will discover powerful “archeotech” and learn more of the Blackstone Fortress’ closely guarded secrets, including, perhaps, the location of its greatest treasure.

Warhammer Quest Blackstone Fortress can be played solo, or with up to four friends, with the fifth player controlling the hostiles. It is a legacy game set in the Warhammer 40,000 universe with a “pause game” mechanic. At the end of each expedition, the players return to the nearby port city of Precipice to rest, recuperate and trade their loot for resources that will aid in their next adventure.

Details & box contents

1-5 players
Ages 12+
120-180 minute play time

Like most good dungeon crawlers, there is a lot in the box:

• 44 brand-new, colored plastic Citadel Miniatures
• 16 page rules booklet
• 24 page background booklet
• 16 page combat booklet
• 24 page precipice booklet
• 16 page datasheet booklet for using all miniatures in games of Warhammer 40,000
• 40 board tiles
• 234 cards
• 70 counters and markers
• 28 dice

Watch some Dice Tower coverage of the Warhammer Quest series of games.

Cloudspire is a MOBA-style tower defense for 1-4 players by Chip Theory Games (CTG), the makers of the Too Many Bones Series. Cloudspire, which is already fully funded on Kickstarter, takes place in the floating realm of Ankar and tells the story of a war to acquire a powerful and rare energy known only as “The Source”.

Players control one of four unique factions in a battle to destroy and steal source energy from their opponents. Every race has their own unique units and heroes as well as the ability to bid and draft mercenaries for hire. The four factions are:

• The Brawen – an industrious, ambitious race of giants
• The Grovetenders – cousin to plant live, forced into the war
• The Heirs – a bird-like race that believes that controlling Ankar’s islands is their birthright
• The Narora – believe that that controlling The Source is their calling

PvP

The main objective in the PvP version is to destroy your opponent’s fortress. Armies are placed either individually or in stacks to conceal powerful units until the last possible moments. Heroes are controlled individually and may join the tide of battle or choose to explore points of interest in search of resources. Heroes can be levelled up to lead armies into battle with advanced and upgraded skills.

As armies and minions approach enemy bases, they’ll need to deal with Spires – powerful defense towers that can be built around the board. Players fight for control of build sites and acquire new spire schematics to build an impenetrable defense and hold off their enemies. Players can even upgrade their home base to unlock new strategies and abilities.

Solo/Co-op

Cloudspire features a full on Solo/Co-op scenario book, full of unique solo setups and a full story narrative to follow along as you move through the game. A variety of base and bonus objectives will make every scenario a unique challenge.

Like other CTG titles, the production value of Cloudspire is planned to be extremely high. Neoprene mats, heavy chips and PVC waterproof cards are hallmarks of CTG games.

Cloudspire will also follow other CTG titles, in its distribution method. After Kickstarter, Cloudspire will only be available directly via Chip Theory Games.

Various pledge levels are available via the Kickstarter, including one for the base game only as well as one with some expansion material and an extra faction. There’s a ton more information on the Kickstarter page and the campaign runs until November 9th, so go check it out.

An invasion of barbarian tribes can certainly feel like pandemic to the Roman world.  Matt Leacock and Paolo Mori have teamed up to bring the Pandemic gameplay to Ancient Rome.  In Pandemic: Fall of Rome, players are members of Roman society employing Roman legions to defend against invading tribes.  Plays may also convert members of a tribe into Roman soldiers. Rome survives to continue its long history is they can defeat all the barbarian tribes, whether by absorption or eradication. Rome has five barbarian tribes threatening its borders: Huns, Ostrogoths, Visigoths, Vandals, and Anglo-Saxons and Franks.  Each invading tribe follows their migration pattern that eventual leads to Rome. Pandemic: Fall of Rome will also feature a Solo Play mode and a challenge mode for season Pandemic players.  The tribes are represented by wooden cubes like all pandemic games, but the Roman legion tokens are legionnaire shaped meeples.  The game will include custom dice for resolving battles with the invading hordes.  Pandemic: Fall of Rome is available for pre-order now with a projected release in Q4. Go to Z-man Games to learn more about Pandemic: Fall of Rome.

Otys is an optimization and development game co-published by Pearl Games and Libellud. In Otys, each player has a team of divers who take actions, retrieve items, and complete objectives. Items are found at varying depths and different items score players varied points.

“Mid-22nd century, after 300 years of unconsciousness, the water rising engulfs the last emerged lands. Fighting for their lives, the survivor’s settlements must remain above the sea level. You live in the Otys colony and you must retrieve the past civilizations debris in the depths to build the future of humanity.”

The game originally supported 2 to 4 players but you can now download the Solo rules from the Esdevium Games website.

five tribes solo

While board gaming is mainly a social activity, there are some of us who like to sit down for a solo experience to either learn the game better or to just enjoy the game at your own pace.  Games like the Pathfinder Adventure Card Games were designed from the start with the ability to be played solo, while other games, like Suburbia, tend to need some massaging to get the solo experience to work.  So Days of Wonder has done that massaging and released the rules for the solo variant of Five Tribes.  Designed by Bruno Cathala and Thierry Jolit, the solo variant has you going up against a dummy player, Yazid the First, as you try to usurp his throne before he has a chance to rally enough support to stop you.  You can head over to the Days of Wonder site and download the rules page for free and then try it yourself.

orleans invasion

The Kennerspiele des Jahres nominee, Orleans, has its first big expansion coming to Essen 2015 titled Orleans: Invasion. In this expansion, a new cooperative variant, designed by Inka and Markus Brand, pits the players against a threatening invasion. The team must work together to fill the granary and to reinforce the city’s walls to keep the advancing enemies at bay. In addition, each player now has special abilities given to them on their unique character cards which also provide tasks of their own to complete. New events also stack the deck against the players what with arsonists trying to burn everything they can get their torches on and rats who not only bring plague but also really have a hankering for your cheese supply. Some events, however, also provide the team with support in surprising and unexpected ways.

The cooperative variant tells the story of the citizens of Orleans rising up against their invaders and adds a new depth of challenge. Orleans: Invasion also includes five additional variants for players to explore. The “Golden Age” is a classic extension that expands the original gameplay. The “Duel” is a new 2-player scenario in which both players must each complete four tasks and the player who completes these tasks first wins. The other three variants introduced are for solo play. Each solo variant has varying lengths and difficulty levels requiring different strategies to complete (of course, a little luck doesn’t hurt).

Orleans is a terrific game which was reported by many as being the hottest game of Essen 2014. This new release promises to expand that excitement by offering completely new ways to play the game. Fans are eagerly awaiting taking this game to the next level with Orleans: Invasion.

You can click here for more information.

enwp solo

Expedition: Northwest Passage is an excellent strategy, exploration game with a very interesting sun mechanic that freezes or thaws the sea as it rotates around the board.  The game released in 2010, designed by Yves Tourigny, and published by Matagot.

Matagot released a variant that will make slight changes to game play and scoring to allow solo play.