Catan fans can rejoice as there’s a lot of fun announcements for the most deservedly-lauded board games of our era. All of this news comes courtesy of the Catan Newsletter which was chock-full of everything Catan-related that one could possibly imagine. So without further ado, let’s talk about the exciting stuff!
As far as news goes for the Catan line of standalone games – Game of Thrones Catan had quickly sold out and is being reprinted with an estimated street date of November 2018. There is also a new game in the Catan Histories line, Rise of the Inkas, which is slated to arrive this summer and so far it sounds really cool. In addition to the standard rules of play, each player will have to decline their settlements twice over the course of the game, with the first player to rebuild their third era civilization being the winner. Old, retired settlements will do nothing more than provide resources for you, but they can also be built over by opponents only, so long-term planning is a must! As described via the press release:
“The strategic choices you face in Catan are even more nuanced in Rise of the Inkas. As you approach the pinnacle of a tribe’s development, your opponents look for ways to take advantage of your settlements in decline and try to take the best locations for their own! Deciding when to advance your tribe is something that you must carefully consider, for simply rushing to advance can put you in a compromised position as the resources you relied on can be claimed by your opponents.”
On the digital front, there’s Catan Universe – an online ecosystem for the base game and it’s first two expansions that can be played between all supported devices (Android, iOS, Steam, and any web browser). Now it’s easier than ever to trade and steal sheep with whoever you want, wherever you want! There’s also Catan Stories: Legend of the Sea Robbers. Players control a raven who accompanies three heroes in a choose-your-own-adventure style experience as they face conflicts that shape the future of the island.
Last, but certainly not least, there’s more Catan-themed merchandise in the shop, including Chocolate Catan and socks! There’s a lot of fun things to find in there, especially gift ideas for a board-gamer in your life. So if ever there was a time when more hexagonal-based strategy goodness was needed in your life, there’s a lot to indulge in now. If you’re interested in more Catan-related products and news, be sure to check out their website for more information and announcements!
The multiple-award winning game by FryxGames, Terraforming Mars, will soon make its digital debut on Steam, Android, and iOS platforms according to Asmodee Digital. The story takes place in the 2400s where humans are beginning to die out because earth is overpopulated, and natural resources are running out. Humans have no other choice but to colonize planet Mars to ensure their survival.
“Play as a corporation sponsored by the World Government with the mission of terraformingMars. Increasing the temperature and oxygen levels, creating oceans and forests and building infrastructure will all play a part in your mission. Compete with rival corporations to contribute the most towards making Mars habitable and triumph. Because, while the Red Planet may be the ideal candidate, it doesn’t have everything that is needed to support life. The terraforming race has begun!”
Early Access for Terraforming Mars, digital edition, will soon be available on Steam for the PC and will run on Windows 7, 8, and 10. No mention of Mac support on the Steam website yet. To join the early access, make sure to add the game to your wishlist.
The game will support several modes including:
Full single-player like the original game
Single-player against the AI
Pass-and-play local multiplayer
More content is expected to be released after launch. The digital version is developed by LuckyHammers and published by Asmodee Digital. Expect the game to be release in Q2 of 2018.
Studio Chahut have spent 6 years sweating buckets to bring you Post Human W.A.R. on PC. It’s a turn-based, tactical and psychological strategy game where you form your armies and set off on an adventure through solo campaigns, or face other players online!
“At the dawn of our third millennium, mankind went extinct, leaving behind a deeply affected planet Earth. Ferocious mutated animals, household robots converted for warfare, and inventive monkeys in tracksuits battle it out to decide the fate of the human heritage.”
The designers have placed heavy emphasis on the strategy element of the game with nothing left to chance. At the beginning of a battle each player creates an army then selects a secret unit to be the Champion from those in their army. The first player to kill the opposing Champion wins the game. These simple rules allow for strong tactical choices in the selection of your army as well as the bluffing and subterfuge in order to protect your Champion. Terrain also plays an important part during combat as you’re able to create barricades and destroy obstacles. The game is played from an isometric point of view and on hex-grid based maps.
There are various modes of play including:
Humans may be extinct but the remaining robots, monkeys, and mutated creatures make for interesting armies. Absurd humor, rich content, 18 solo missions, 3 different universes, 3 factions and 36 playable units set against a post-apocalyptic background provides an interesting play experience.
Fantasy Flight Interactive has announced that the first title they plan to release will be The Lord of the Rings: Living Card Game. Based on the popular co-operative card game released by Fantasy Flight Games in 2011, the game has players participating in cooperative scenario based adventures controlling the heroes of Tolkien’s Middle Earth.
Fantasy Flight Interactive is making the digital version available on Steam in early December to a closed beta group as a single player title. Players can then purchase on the Founder’s Packs to access the full game experience. Founder’s Packs will include additional content, in game currency, and more.
The original game featured a strong bond between both the compelling narrative of Middle Earth, taking place predominantly between the adventure of Bilbo and Frodo, and a revolutionary cooperative gaming system. As one of the most popular early cooperative games players had to work together to defeat the evil Sauron, who was represented by an encounter deck filled with locations, enemies, and other treacheries.
Players in the digital implementation will still control three heroes with 30 card decks based on the four influence spheres – Leadership, Tactics, Spirit, and Lore.
The digital implementation of the game removes much of the maintenance work that players had to manage in the original version. In the new iteration of the game players focus on the Planning and Adventuring phases. The AI will handle playing cards from Sauron’s deck and the responsibilities enemies have in engaging heroes. Players will now get to focus on their own choices rather than game maintenance.
Each scenario includes instructions on win conditions, while all scenarios are lost if the three heroes die or the ever increasing threat level reaches the maximum. With over 100 expansions currently available for the game, Fantasy Flight Digital will have plenty of material to choose from in building and growing the digital universe of the game.
The Death Star has been destroyed—but as fragments of wreckage rain down on Yavin 4, the war is not over. The time for heroes has not passed. If anything, the Rebellion needs heroes more now than ever before. The Galactic Civil War is raging on, and it’s time for you and your friends to come together and journey side by side into a galaxy filled with more peril, excitement, and adventure than you had ever imagined.
Fantasy Flight Games has just released details on their upcoming Legends of the Alliance app that will support Cooperative and Solo play for Imperial Assault. In both the 2016 and 2017 GenCon In-Flight reports Fantasy Flight Games announced work on the app was continuing, but did share details beyond that. Gamers should not have long to wait based on the report from Fantasy Flight Games that the app is “coming soon.”
In 2016 Fantasy Flight Games released the Road to Legend app for Descent: Journeys in the Dark Second Edition. That app allowed for solo and fully cooperative play without one person having to play as overlord. Road to Legend has been supported with additional campaign releases, and allows players to select what physical content they have purchased and then integrates that content into the game. Legends of the Alliance for Imperial Assault appears to include similar support, including the ability to play the game fully cooperatively.
Cooperating to Save the Galaxy
Legends of the Alliance is will release as a free companion app for Imperial Assault that allows up to four players to join the Alliance and fight the Galactic Empire together with the app taking full control of the Empire over the course of a single game or over a campaign.
Designed exclusively to allow for cooperative play, the app does not replace a traditional campaign that includes an overlord or the skirmish game. Those modes of play will continue to exist separately and will continue to be supported by Fantasy Flight Games.
Getting Set Up
Similar to the Descent App, Legends of the Alliance requires players to select what physical content will be available. Whether you have just the core set or every single expansion, the play experience will be tailored based on what physical content is available. Players will only need to select what content they have once, and can change those selections at any time. On release the app will only support Imperial and Mercenary forces from the Core Set, but planned future updates will add foes and allies from all of the additional box expansions, Ally Packs, and Villain Packs.
Replacing the Imperial player, Legends of the Alliance will provide introductions to each quest and will instruct players how to set up the map. The map will include map tile details, placement of Imperial forces, supply crate locations, and objective tokens for the mission.
App based play allows for truly hidden information. While the app provides instructions on how to set up what is visible to players, tiles beyond doors won’t be placed until doors open. Maybe the hallway beyond that door is empty. Maybe it contains a room full of stormtroopers eating their galacticaly delicious lunches? As soon as you open a door the app will pause for you to add indicated map tiles and any Imperial forces or other traps you can now see.
Once installed, players will have the chance to play through a tutorial that will to teach them the game and the primary differences between the new fully cooperative campaign and the traditional game. Players will then be invited to take on a brand new five scenario mission: Death Star above Yavin 4. This campaign requires only the Imperial Assault Core Set.
After each mission players will have the chance to resupply and upgrade their heroes. Following a mission, whether victorious or defeated, players will be taken to a map of the galaxy from which they can learn skills from class cards or upgrade their weapons and equipment in the armory. The app tracks back class cards and item purchased, allowing for quick setup in future plays.
Imperial Assault…ing you
Legends of the Alliance isn’t just creating a map full of characters for you to shoot down. These figurines fight back. At the end of each Hero activation, the app will select an Imperial unit to activate and provide orders for it. Smart technology allows the app to isolate heroes and pick off the weak. Each Imperial activation provides special abilities and powers, as well as a list of actions for you to carry out on behalf of the app.
These aren’t your friendly neighborhood stormtroopers. Darth Vader will enter battle, cutting your allies down with melee weapons. Stormtroopers will fire and duck back under cover. Each unit in the game will have behavior reflective of their character, and will be up to you and your friends to work together to develop strategies to defeat them.
Fantasy Flight Games has only announced that the app will be “available for download soon.” Fantasy Flight Games does not traditionally make announcements too far in advance, so it’s likely rebel scum won’t have long to wait to begin their assault.
Descent’s Road to Legend app is available on the Apple App Store, Google Play, and via Steam. It is likely that the Imperial Assault app will also eventually be available on all the devices those platforms support.
Steve Jackson Games has announced that OGRE will be coming to Steam this October 5th, celebrating the game’s 40th anniversary. The digital version of the game is being developed by Auroch Digital. A taste of the war to come can be seen on the trailer for the game.
OGRE is a turn based tactical ground combat games set in the near (and getting nearer!) future. Set in the year 2085, armored warfare is getting faster and deadlier. While hovercrafts, tanks and infantry continued to do battle with nuclear devices, the most feared weapon in war is the giant cybernetic tank referred to as the OGRE which needs to human guidance.
In a basic two player game of OGRE one player has a force of infantry, armor and a command post to defend. The opposing player has only the OGRE. More advanced, and deadly, games have OGREs on both sides of the battlefield.
The digital adaptation of the game will feature:
The first digital release of the game since 1986, the game features both OGRE and expanded G.E.V. rules
Campaign mode featuring missions developed in partnership with Steve Jackson Games
Multiplayer turn based online gaming as well as local pass-and-play capabilities
Online ranking and matchmaking system
AI based single player skirmish and tutorial modes
Faction building featuring Light, Heavy, Superheavy,and Missile Tanks, G.E.V.s, Infantry, Marines, Howitzers, and Ogres (Mark I to- Mark VI)
First published in 1977, the game most recently came back to shelves as Ogre: Designer’s Edition. This kickstarter edition of the game raked in almost $1 million in 2012. Weighing in at 18 pounds, the game included thousands of counters, tanks, and OGREs. While the pocket edition and the designer edition are both out of print, the 6th Edition of OGRE is currently still available for those who prefer moving cardboard rather than the digital implementation.
The award-winning murder mystery board game Mysterium has been released for the iOS platform. In this cooperative board game, one player takes on the role of the ghost of a murder victim who uses various types of cards to give clues to the other players (paranormal psychics) who will use those clues to ultimately solve the mystery of the murder.
The iOS digital version of the game features online multiplayer for up to 7 players and works cross-platform between the iOS, Android, and Steam versions. There is a solitaire and story mode as well.
Continuing with the trend of more and more board games becoming digitized, the latest offering to be released on Steam is AEG‘s Smash Up designed by Paul Peterson.
Smash Up is a card game that takes a deck of 20 cards of a faction, and combines them with another deck of 20 cards of another faction. Each faction has a special ability associated with it, so the combinations when mixing various factions is almost endless. These cards are shuffled to make your deck, and you use that deck to attempt to Smash a base. Points are awarded for the first, second, and third most power on that base.
Smash Up on Steam is currently in what Steam calls an ‘Early Access Game’. This grants you early access to the full game in its current state allowing you to play as is, with more content added as the developer completes it. If you buy into the game during Early Access, you’ll receive a discount as well as access to additional content as it’s completed.
A link to what the developers of the game have to say can be found here.
More info on Smash Up the board game can be found here and here.
Some games benefit greatly from a digital adaption, mostly because of ease of accessibility and increased exposure to a different crowd of gamers. While it can feel somber to lose the tactile joy of manipulating cards or miniatures, the loss of fiddly bits in lieu of speed and convenience can be enough of a pleasing alternative to reward the jump from tabletop to video game. 1775: Rebellion, the immensely popular war game from Academy games, has made such a leap and is available right now on PC through the Steam marketplace. Developed by HexWar Games, this version of the award winning board game offers several exclusive, and admittedly expected, features as described on the game’s store page:
“Now you and your friends command the armies of the British Redcoats, English Loyalists, German Hessians, American Regulars, Patriots, French Regulars and Native Americans to decide the fate of the Americas. Players from each faction cooperate to gain control of key towns and forts. Share the fun in this light and fast paced game vs the AI, hotseat or online!”
PC players 1775 normal and short scenarios, as well as the Siege of Quebec, all available in solo vs 3 AI difficulties or through local and cross-platform multiplayer. As of writing this, the game has been updated to version 1.03 which has addressed many interface issues mentioned in early reviews of the game. The dedication to faithfully delivering the tabletop experience to PC is echoed by the majority of positive reviews currently on Steam. Be sure to check out the community hub for more information and updates as the game continues to grow and will hopefully inspire even more impressively developed adaptations of worthy board games.