For those who feel that tabletop gaming hasn’t yet satisfied the experience of epic medieval expansion, 2017 is starting with something you might be interested in. A massive new miniatures game from Giochix.it is now up for funding on Kickstarter right now – Medioevo Universalis. A very ambitious game where 2 to 5 players, but expandable to 9, command armies in a bid for control over all of Europe. Featuring hundreds of minis, tokens, coins, cards, diplomacy, and warfare, Medioevo Universalis is bursting at the seams to deliver on it’s hefty price tag. Here’s a brief description from the Kickstarter page:

 “Players will lead one of the great medieval kingdoms of the thirteenth century by developing an intricate commercial network, advancing its technology, and weaving diplomatic relations with the other players. A number of possible adverse events can occur: natural disasters, and barbarians that will hinder military conquests or the creation of an empire.

The list of all the stuff in the box, and all that you can do in the game and with so many participants is impressive to say the least. The civilization-building elements are definitely intruiging, so it’ll be worth checking out the rulebook once it’s posted to the campaign page to see how it all really “ticks”. That said, plenty of eager gamers are enticed by what is on offer, as Medioevo Universalis is well beyond it’s funding goal across the three platforms from which it is available. Be sure to check out their campaign page for more information and updates from Giochix.it about this huge new contender in the dark-aged miniatures arena.


Spieleschmiede, a German “Kickstarter type” site for board games, has two projects up for card games in the Black Pocket Series of games by Reiner Knizia, Zero and Ghosts.  Both games are quick, family weight filler card games and feature simple rules to be able to be picked up and played quickly.

ghosts comp

In Ghosts you are trying your best to not get scared through the taking of fear tokens.  How you avoid taking fear tokens is by playing cards to where the total doesn’t go over 7, but with cards that go up to what looks like 3, it’s seems like you can easily hit that number, but that is where clever card play comes in.  If the ghost card is a different color than the previous one, the number is added, upping the total, if the colors are the same the total does not change and play reverses direction, fog cards have the same effect except they don’t change the direction of play.  But inevitably you might have to play a card that pushes the total over 7, in that case you don’t play the card but instead take a fear token.  You will continue to play a card, draw a card until the deck runs out, thus ending the round, and if you happen to have survived the round without taking any fear tokens you bolster your courage and are able to discard up to 3 of your fear tokens.  The person with the fewest fear tokens after three rounds wins the game.


Zero is another quick card game where the object is to get the fewest number of points through collecting sets of either the same number or the same color.  The game will start with everyone getting 9 cards dealt to them and then 5 additional cards placed face up on the table, on your turn you can either swap a hand card with one from the table or pass.  When you pass the first time nothing special happens, but when you pass a second time you trigger the end of the round and everyone else gets one final play before you stop and count points.  Another way the round can end is if someone manages to get a hand worth zero points, then they can call out zero and the round ends immediately with everyone else counting up their points.  How you get or avoid points is easy, if you have five of the same number those five cards are worth nothing, if you have five of the same color those five cards are worth nothing, any cards that fall outside those two conditions are worth the number on the card.  This sounds easy but there are seven colors (suits) and each color ranges from 1-8 so getting the elusive zero hand, a set of 5 of one number and 5 of the same color with one overlapping card, is not as easy as it seems.  At the end of the round whoever has the lowest score is the winner, and with fast playing rounds you can expand it to whoever has the lowest score after a set numbers of rounds wins.

Both campaigns are running now on the Speileschimede site and so you can go to the Ghosts page to pledge for a copy or the Zero page to pledge for a copy of that game.  Also available on the campaigns are sleeves for each game as well as the ability to add on the another game in the Black Pocket line, Korsar (aka Loot).  Just keep in mind when pledging that this is a German based site and service, so shipping to your home country may be more expensive than usual due to VAT.

Spieleschmiede has announced a new project, Plus Ultra, and the following is the official press release:

Plus Ultra: The Court of the Emperor Charles V

charles 4

In Plus Ultra, the new project at Spieleschmiede, players work their way to become a Grandee of the King

23.12.2015. Spanish publisher Meridiano 6 starts his game Plus Ultra at Spieleschmiede today. A classical Eurogame with complex strategies for 2-4 gamers from 12 years up.

Charles V, Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire and King of Spain, has become the most powerful man on Earth during the 16th century. Players get into the roles of nobleman at his court in order to earn the esteem and favour of Charles V and become a Grandee of the Empire. They need to use the influence of plenty of different characters, fight wars, get involved in enterprises and support the Church. To localize the rules is the main goal of the campaign at Spieleschmiede.

Lots of gaming material and stretch goals

As the spanish publisher Meridiano 6 already ran a succesfull campaign in their homeland Spain, smithies will get a bulging box. New characters and game modes come along with quality improved boards and cards as well as wooden houses, boats and meeples. As an extra option, smithies can also choose to get a set of specially engraved dice.

The Project runs until 7th February 2016 at Spieleschmiede.

Over on the German kickstarter type site Spieleschmiede, a campaign is going for Epic coins to help pimp out your board games.  These are full metal coins with several different designs and sets that you can contribute for.  One set is clearly meant to replace the coins in Lords of Waterdeep but they also have a more generic set with animals on them.  While the sets you can pledge for are small with only 5 coins of each type, they have plenty of add-ons so you can customize your set to suit your needs.  But keep in mind that since this is in Germany you will have to take into account the extra shipping cost to get it sent to the US (13 euro).  Head on over to the campaign page to see more information and to back the project, which is already funded.

12 realms bedtime

12 Realms: Bedtime Story is recently funded on Kickstarter and Spieleschmiede, but Giochix would also like to announce that it is on Giochistarter as well.  These campaigns are all going to be combined to fund the production of the game, and Giochix states that if they reach the mark of 3,000 Euros on Giochistarter, they will add the Italian translation of the rulebook (as the one currently available is in English).  The project includes the last 12 Realms expansion as well as the base game and other expansions.  See the Giostarter project here.

bomarzo board

Another announcement from Giochix is a new game by designer Stefano Castelli called Bomarzo.  In Bomarzo, players will take the role of feudal lords of the Orsini.  They will be managing one of the four minor fiefs: Collepiccolo, Castelvecchio, Montenero or Mompeo, trying to earn the esteem of the lord of the land.  There are “monsters of the park”, however, supernatural forces that can make or break your task of developing your fief.  Turning these forces to your advantage and developing the best fief will lead you to victory.

Bomarzo is a game for 2-4 players and plays in about 60 minutes.  To back this project, visit the Giochistarter page or the Kickstarter page.

Samara by Cwali is worker placement game with a very cool time track mechanism. It’s designed by Corné van Moorsel and filled with fun illustrations by Philip Kustov. In Samara you will place your workers to build buildings, improve skills, build strength to become better workers, and getting new workers.

Travel back through history to a small settlement, named Samara (it’s a Russian megacity nowadays), where you lead your builders. At the start they can only build a sandcastle, cave or huts. For more complex buildings, they must invest time in skills, strength or getting new workers. Special projects, such as the Bridge, Barracks or School, give you advantages or hurt all your rivals. In the end you want to have the most prestigious buildings. Will you be the best foreman of SAMARA?

The board is in three pieces, the main board where buildings, tools, training, etc. are placed and two separate time track pieces with 6 months each on them. The time tracks will be placed at the bottom of the main board and will slide along during the game representing time passing.

Each turn players will place their workers on the months currently in the same column of the tile (representing buildings, training, etc) they want to take. This way each action will take a certain period of time. Additionally each row of tiles cost a certain number of workers so each tile has a cost in workers and time.

At the end of the round the time track boards slide down and any workers that are on slots that don’t match up to the board become available for placement again. This is a novel approach to represent time passing in a game and it looks like it will give players the feeling that time is passing.

Samara plays 2 -5 in about 40 minutes and is currently running on Kickstarter and Spieleschmiede (a German crowdfunding site) simultaneously. Funds from both sites will apply to stretch goals.

This game has some unique mechanisms with the time track and that alone has me intrigued. Add in the artwork, the fact that it is easy to learn/teach, making it family friendly, but looks like it would be hard to master and my finger is hovering over the back button. If the game sounds like it would be one you are interested in you should head over to Kickstarter here or Spieleschmiede here and check it out.


Dutch game designer Martyn F., best known for last year’s succesful game Oklahoma Boomers, is planning his second crowdfunding campaign. Epoch – Early Inventors, an exploration and civilization game for 2-4 players, will launch in May on the German crowdfunding website Spieleschmiede.com. Taking the role of clan leaders in the early days of civilization, players have to scout the environment around their village, discover new technologies and worship holy sites.

You can find more information on the game at Boardgamegeek here.

Press release

Epoch – Early Inventors starts in MayMartyn F is preparing his second crowdfunding project.

20.3.2015. The new German-style game of Martyn F will start in May at Spieleschmiede.com. The Dutch game designer Martyn F and the Spieleschmiede are announcing a new project. After Oklahoma Boomers, the designer wants to finance his next game Epoch – Early Inventors with crowdfunding aswell. The campaign at Spieleschmiede.com is planned to start in May 2015. A real German-style game for experts.

In Epoch – Early Inventors, players take the role of a clan chief in the early days of civilizations. Each player has to scout the surroundings of the village, discover new technologies and worship Holy Sites. When discovering the surroundings, the game has a more tactical approach. That changes later, when Epoch is a deep strategy game with a lot ofchoices.

Interested bloggers and reviewers can now apply for a prototype of thegame via Spieleschmiede.

Courtesy Spiele Offensive Project

Courtesy Spiele Offensive Project

The latest entry in Spieleschmiede’s Little ‘N’ Nice series is raising funds on Spiele-Offensive. Moly Diggins is a card placement game where players add to a series of winding tunnels to set up their moles to catch the most earthworms. Laying those cards takes a good bit of critical thinking to ensure that the colored worms match.

“The player moles will not only whizz through underground passages – they are also constantly digging new tunnels and short-cuts. Even though Moly Diggins may seem simple, the players will be able to make tactical decisions and after several rounds will be crawling along seemingly endless tunnels.”

Moly Diggins is for two-to-four players and takes about 15 minutes to play. It comes with 10 cards, four mole meeples, and matching stickers. If you’re interested in this family weight card game, check out the Spiele-Offensive page for more on Moly Diggins.