The Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts & Design (AAGAD) award the Origins Awards at the Origins Game Fair each June. Nominees are picked in March and the academy votes on the games in the different categories based on excellence in game design. Well, the winners for the 2018 Origins Awards have been announced! Let’s see who they are!
Congratulations to Cephalofair Games as Best Board Game, Fan Favorite and Game of the Year goes to Gloomhaven! As Best Card Game and Fan Favorite we have both Renegade Game Studios’ Ex Libris and Hero Realms by White Wizard Games. For Best Miniatures Game and Fan Favorite we have WarHammer 40,000 (8th edition) by Games Workshop. Best Collectible Game and Fan Favorite goes to Star Wars Destiny: Awakenings Booster by Fantasy Flight Games. As for Best Family Game and Fan Favorite we have Azul by Plan B Games. The Best Role-Playing Game Supplement and Fan Favorite is Dungeons & Dragons Xanathar’s Guide to Everything by Dungeons and Dragons. As for Best Role-Playing Game we have Adventures in Middle Earth – Cubicle 7, and finally, we have the Fan Favorite Role-Playing Game winner: Starfinder– by Paizo.
Congratulations to these amazing game designers and the hard work they have put into making the games that have become staples in our homes and board game cafes around the world!
We have some interesting Kickstarters this week on the eve of Essen, so lets get down to it. First on the list is along the same lines as the White Box Kickstarter in that it is more for board game design as opposed to an actual board game. It is simply called the Board Game Creative Kit, and is specifically designed to allow for you to create a high quality prototype of your game. Included in the box is first, the box, and to be more specific, a blank white box in the standard square size, allowing you to design your box cover art on it. Inside the box you will find punch board after punch board of tokens in every shape, dice in multiple colors, player pawns in multiple colors, wooden tokens, and even several different sized boards and player screens. Basically anything your could possibly need is most likely inside this box. There are also stretch goals that add more players in the form of additional tokens, and even additional player colors can be added like pink. So if you need some supplies to prototype your next game, check out this Kickstarter.
Next we have a quick and quirky little card game called The Mennonite Game Card Game. The Mennonite game is a game about connections, more specifically how can you connect one person to another? An example example is finding out that someone was your ” brother’s roommate’s sister’s ex-boyfriend’s high school teacher“. So in this card game you will be doing the same thing by playing out cards to create various character connections to you in your bid to create a tree of 10 different connections before anyone else. In the game you will be drawing connection cards and event cards, with the connection cards being the currency you use to purchase the character cards to add to your character tree. Event cards are cards that give you one time use special abilities allowing you to break the rules here and there to give you an edge. You will draw 4 cards and play as many as you want to build out your tree, first person to be connected to 10 characters is the winner. The fun in this game will definitely lay in the people you play with as the connections you form on the table will be crazy and weird, to find out more information check out the Kickstarter page.
Up next is the 236th version of Munchkin, and that is Munchkin Starfinder, based on the fast selling new RPG of the same name. If you have played Munchkin before then there is nothing new here other than the theme. For those not in the know, Munchkin is a game where you are racing to get to level 10 first, but there any many, many ways for your opponents to mess with you so expect heavy resistance in levels 8 and 9. This card game is the epitome of take that and so if you don’t enjoy inflicting pain, or are able to take it, then you might want to look elsewhere. For those who can handle it, or just want to expand their Munchkin collection, check out the Kickstarter page.
Following that is a new cooperative, bag building game called Tabula Rasa from Kid Loves Tiger Games. In Tabula Rasa you are champions fighting back the malevolent forces of the world and trying to complete quests and increase your power and reputation to be able to eliminate the evil. As was previously mentioned, this is a pool building game where you are going to be drawing crystals from a bag, and it’s those crystals you will use to perform actions. You will use these actions to move around the board, collect treasure and power-ups, fighting the minions of the boss, and synthesizing new crystals to be able to more effectively use your powers. And it’s those powers that bring in some asymmetry, each player has a power associated with each gem, and having those different powers means each character will play slightly differently. Once enough quests are completed or the threat becomes too high, the final showdown begins, if you are able to defeat the final boss then you win. So if a cooperative bag building game sounds your speed, check out the Kickstarter page.
And last but not least, we have the dice, worker placement game Monster Lands. In this worker placement game you are trying to gain the most glory in order to be crowned the new king, but to do that you are going to have to defeat monsters and re-conquer the land. You will have to build up your clan to be fighting fit, by recruiting warriors, equipping them with weapons and items, and sending them off to do battle. Your dice pool is going to be determined by your clan strength as well as the mercenaries that you have hired, and it’s these dice you will roll and use to acquire everything you need. Place on the main board to get items items or more mercenaries, get some more gold to pay those mercenaries, or send a mercenary fully loaded out to battle. As you defeat monsters you will gain more glory and your clan will become stronger, be the strongest after 6 rounds to be the winner. You can find out more about this game on the Kickstarter page.
My wallet keeps taking a beating, but luckily I have a budget and a wife so I won’t spend too much, but lets take a look at some projects that might be worth your money. First on that list are some giant dice in the form of 55mm spin down dice being brought to you by Todd Brammer, the maker of d20 earrings. Both dice look great with the color options being molten gold or silver, and that is pretty much it. You can get one for $8 or both for $15, just a no frills Kickstarter to get you some giant spin down dice. So check out the Kickstarter page if you are interested.
Next we have another webcomic turned game and that is Heart and Brain the Party Game. This is a card, party game which is a melting pot of different challenges that you will have to face in order to get the tokens you need to win. On your turn you will draw from one of two piles, the heart deck or the brain deck. The heart deck has mainly goofy challenges grouped into dares, double dares where you perform it with someone else, voting about different situations, or challenges which involve things like beating you in a mini game or making you laugh. The brain deck is more about the mind with things like challenges on naming things, contests like who can name more famous comics, and true/false votes where you reveal something about yourself that is either true or false and everyone has to guess. There are also cards to play a game similar to Cards Against Humanity where you are trying to play your best phrases to match a prompt that was drawn. Overall if you like the humor and antics of the Heart and Brain comic, this kind of game will be right up your alley. Check out the Kicktstarter today.
After that is a new worker placement game with dice called Dice Hospital. In this game you are running a hospital, trying to cure patients to earn points. At the start of the round there will be a pool of dice rolled and those will be distributed into ambulances, thus making up the patients you will draft for that round. They are ordered in these ambulances by worst to best so while if you take the worst batch, you will get first pick on upgrades, while if you pick the best you will be picking upgrades last. Once these dice are in your hospital you will pick out an upgrade which could be better rooms to add to your hospital, or new employees which give you special abilities. Once you have picked an upgrade it’s time to treat your patients, with the pip value on the dice indicated how healthy your patient is (6 means ready to discharge, 1 means almost dead). You will place out your nurses on different rooms to be able to treat your patients, and as you discharge them you will get points for how many you can discharge in a round. At the end whoever has the most points is the winner. The base game looks great, and the deluxe game upgrades with both a dice tower and 3D ambulance to hold dice, looks even better. Check out the Kickstarter for more information and to pledge.
Next is a campaign to get some excellent minis for the Starfinder RPG being put out by Paizo. The campaign is pretty simple in that there are two levels to pledge for, each getting you the same basic miniature package along with slots for you to customize your pledge. Each pledge gets you figures for the legacy heroes like Seelah the paladin, Candy and Cola, and more generic sculpts like an elf operative, gnome mystic, or halfling pilot. The slots in each pledge will allow you to pick from a lineup of seven enemy encounter packs, 25 different heroes, two fleets, and six different big enemies, allowing for lots of pledge customization. Overall if you are wanting a good set of minis for Starfinder at about $3 a mini, you can’t go wrong with the ones in this Kickstarter campaign.
Up next we have an “anime” turned board game from Rooster Teeth called RWBY: Combat Ready. RWBY: Combat Ready is a battling game where you will be taking on the roles of Ruby, Weiss, Blake, and Yang as you fight against the villain Roman and his minions. This is a fully cooperative game and will be taking place in two areas, the sideline and center stage. The player on center stage is battling the main villain of the scenario by playing cards and inflicting as much damage as possible. The players on teh sidelines can use their cards to aid the player on center stage, or take care of the minions or other bad events happened all around them. All of these will be played out using the cards you have, by playing the cards against the enemies you are facing. You will then flip over both your card and the villain card and whoever is faster gets to deal damage. If you are able to string consecutive hits together you can build up battle fury, making you faster and giving you access to an ultimate attack. In the end if you eliminate the villain you win, but like most coop games, there are lots of ways to lose. So if this RWBY inspired game likes interesting to you, check out the Kickstarter page.
And last, but certainly not least, we have Steamforged Games latest creation, Resident Evil 2 the Board Game. This brings the iconic survival-horror genre video game to the tabletop, putting you and your follow players up against all the horrors and monstrosities that have been created by the Umbrella Corporation. This game is a dungeon crawl game where you are venturing out into the streets of Raccoon City in a bid to escape the horror all around you. This game brings a resource management aspect to the dungeon crawl genre as the Resident Evil games were known for giving you just barely enough to survive, so you can’t be frivolous with your bullets or medicinal herbs. Plus there is a tension deck, telling you about strange sounds and figures that you see as you go down the streets and alleys. Can you afford to explore that room? Will you have enough bullets if the giant monster shows up? You will have to keep answering that question as you play the game. If this sounds like something you might be interested in, check out the Kickstarter page.
Those of you lucky enough to attend GenCon 50 know full well that it was a shopping extravaganza full of hot products that sold quickly. Paizo, Inc. has announced that Starfinder, the space based followup to the role-playing staple Pathfinder, was in fact the fastest selling product they have ever released. The core Starfinder book sold out in 6 hours, selling more copies than any other Paizo product, during all 4 days of previous years’ conventions. The entire Starfinder line is currently back-ordered, but stocks are expected to come back in October 2017.
Look for accessory products for Starfinder, such as miniatures from Ninja Division, and even an official soundtrack from Syrinscape.
Paizo has announced a new science fiction role-playing game entitled Starfinder, a universe set thousands of years in Pathfinder’s future. Starfinder is a stand-alone RPG evolved from Pathfinder’s ruleset in which players take on the role of alien races both new and familiar as they explore the mysteries of a weird galaxy. Your starship’s crew can be made up of such character archetypes as:
- android assassins
- ratfolk mechanics
- lashunta technomancers
- human pilots
- and many more!
The Starfinder line will include:
- a hardcover core rulebook
- hardcover rules supplements
- a monthly Starfinder Adventure Path with epic campaigns, expanded rules elements, and new monsters
- integrates easily with the Pathfinder roleplaying game
The Starfinder system will release in August of 2017. For more information, visit the product announcement here.