Board game enthusiasts rejoice, for we will likely have a main stream television show all to our own. Producer/Director/Actor Travis Oates has been sneaking around behind the scenes for the past 9 months creating a television series called Above Board, targeted to hit one of the popular streaming services we all love so well. According to Travis (who, by the way, is one of the most fascinating people I have ever met), the show has elements of the popular car show Top Gear, combining real love of board games with comedic parody, and Daily Show type tongue-in-cheek interviews. Already included in the show are board game designers Jamey Stegmaier, Stefan Feld, and Dr. Reiner Knizia, companies like Broken Token, publishers Michael Coe of Gamelyn Games and Paul Saxberg from Roxely Game Laboratories. But wait, there’s more – celebrity guests, and a regular segment by our own Tom Vasel. Six episodes are under construction now, hopefully with many more planned. I was lucky enough to screen some clips, and found the humor witty and sarcastic without dumbing down the content. Keep an eye out for this exciting initial foray of our hobby into mainstream media.
The year is 1828. It’s time for elections and you want to become the 7th President of the United States. Players take on the roles of John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson, the two candidates for the top post.
“For the first time in history, this grand campaign is also fought on the pages of newspapers and the eager public audience. This was an election that found its way into history books with its yet unseen ruthlessness and malevolence. This was America’s first smear campaign.”
It’s not easy to become the next President of the United States. To reach this lofty goal, you need to take Election tiles that suit you best and hinder your opponent’s campaign. Election tiles allow you to garner the allegiance of Electors and use the power of Smear Campaigns to skew the populace in your favor. You can also use some powerful Campaign Actions to get the press to look away from your dastardly actions. If you plan your campaign right, nothing will stand in your way to becoming President!
“110 AD – the Roman Empire is at its height of glory, ruled by the “optimus princeps,” Emperor Trajan. All borders are secured, and people can focus again on the empire’s internal matters — ROME. Take your chances and boost your power! With the proper tactics, you may outmaneuver your opponents and eventually claim victory.”[source]
Players will need to balance politics, military, trading, and other parts of Roman culture. They try to score victory points by taking advantage of 6 different actions using a rondel mechanism to plan them. Careful planning, hampering opponents’ plans, and the careful acquisition of tiles are integral to success with the player having the most victory points at the end of it all being the winner.
BattleCON is a Kickstarter veteran and many different updates and expansions have released since its original project in 2011. This will also be their last Kickstarter for the BattleCON system so now is the time to catch up on anything you may have missed. This new project seeks to make your BattleCON collection a lot easier to manage, setup, and play. For starters the BattleCON: Unleashed storage box holds 110 fighter tuckboxes, a game board, and a rulebook. The tuckboxes are a new addition as well and they allow easy storage of fighters.
BattleCON is a head-to-head card game which plays like a fighting, video game on your table. Players choose a fighter from over a cast of over 100 who each have a selection of cards unique to them. Fighters possess unique abilities which are a sub-system that interact with abilities and provides for varied play. BattleCON was designed by D. Brad Talton, Jr. and features anime style artwork from a variety of artists. It supports 1-5 players in varied game modes. Tom is a big fan of the BattleCON system and you can watch his Dice Tower videos in support of the game.
The BattleCON: Unleashed Kickstarter project has pledge levels to “continue” your existing collection with upgraded components and rules, and pledge levels to get everything in existence for the game if you’re new to it. Its already 100% funded. The project is set to end on Sunday, October 21st, 2018 with the estimated delivery in August of 2019.
Arthur The First Expansion for Merlin
Arthur is the first expansion for Merlin. Merlin was designed by Stefan Feld and Michael Rieneck, with art by Dennis Lohausen, and is published by Queen Games. It supports 2-4 players where players move Merlin and the Knights around an action ring to execute desired actions. The ultimate goal is to score victory points by defeating barbarians, building manors, and increasing influence in surrounding counties. The player who is most efficient will score the most points to become the successor to King Arthur’s throne. You can watch the Dice Tower reviews on Merlin for more information on the core game.
The expansion adds King Arthur, who gives each player an extra die and, therefore, another action. It also adds a new rondell, with 13 extra spaces, to replace the base game’s rondell. Pict tiles have been added to go with the new, pict action space. King Arthur’s signet ring, 2 new flag designs, King Arthur’s player board, and a new round track has also been added.
Unrecorded Siege is set in Medieval Europe during the Hundred Years War. Players take the roles of French and English generals seeking to conquer or defend the battlefield. Resources and strategies are setup in tactical formations, including armies and siege weapons, to deceive and defeat opponents. This co-operative game is designed by Elroy CT, with art by WuWuMew, and supports 1-4 players across 3 scenarios.
The game features a beautiful play area and seeks to add miniatures for the generals through the Kickstarter stretch goals. Its currently over 50% funded. The Unrecorded Siege Kickstarter project will end on Saturday, October 20th, 2018 and has an estimated delivery date of August in 2019.
The Stygian Society – A Kevin Wilson Cube Tower Adventure
Kevin Wilson, the hit, board game co-designer of Descent, Arkham Horror, Arcane Academy, and many other great titles, has designed a cooperative dungeon crawl where heroes are able to sacrifice themselves for the good of the party. The Stygian Society, with art by Jacqui Davis, is designed for 1-4 players and features a Deluxe Cube Tower which is central to the randomization of the game play. Players take on the role of different warriors who make their way up the wizard’s tower, one floor at a time. Instead of rolling dice, players throw cubes down the tower matching the colors of their abilities and, depending on what falls out the bottom, determines the outcome of the encounter. There is also an expansion, The Stygian Society: The Tower Laboratory, designed by Philip duBarry, which can be added.
Tombed is a dungeon style game for 2-5 players set in Egypt in the 1940s with fantasy elements. Players are a group of adventurers who enter an ancient Egyptian temple to become rich and famous … if they can survive awakening the ancient pharaohs. One player takes on the role of a pharaoh (there are a few to choose from with varied abilities) while the rest play the adventurers. Tombed is designed by Jorge Fernández Alonso, Elena Herrero Jaén, and Cristian Casado Otazu.
The Tombed Kickstarter project is already fully funded and will end on Monday, October 8th, 2018 and is expected deliver on October in 2019.
Queen Games has collaborated with nine celebrated game designers to create a new Limited Designers’ Edition of Alhambra that can only be purchased through their Kickstarter campaign going on right now.
The Alhambra Designers’ Edition has all new art for the box cover, the game board, the tiles, and the cards. The new addition also includes a tile dispenser tower in matching artwork.
There are nine expansions available with the Alhambra Designers’ Edition. Different pledge levels in the Kickstarter campaign offer supporters an increasing number of expansions with their base game.
For those who already own Alhambra and are not interested in purchasing another base game, the Kickstarter campaign does include an option to just purchase the expansions created by these designers.
For those who want an ultimate version, there is the Mega Box edition which includes all nine designer expansions with the new designer base game as well as all previously published expansions and bigger tiles.
Like all Kickstarter campaigns, there are stretch goals. For the Designers’ Edition, the stretch goals appropriately include fan designed expansions. Fans can submit expansion ideas, up to three of which will be developed and produced as part of the Alhambra Designers’ Edition. Ideas for the submission can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
To learn more about the Alhambra Designers’ Edition and the specific expansions designed by each of the designers, see the Alhambra Designers’ Edition Kickstarter Campaign which runs until May 25, 2018 and is expected to deliver in March 2019.
Kingdom Builder: Harvest, the fourth expansion for the 2011 game Kingdom Builder, contains new places, landscapes and goals. A new scout mechanic also allows players to build in areas normally not allowed.
Queen announced a new reprint of Metro, the 1997 tile laying game. Similar to Tsuro or Streetcar, players place square tiles to complete rail lines. The new reprint includes a new design, all four expansions, and the ability to play with six people.
Tip Tap is an abstract game involving fast identification of oddly shaped colored tiles. Players need to quickly find and touch specific shapes, while keeping other players from stealing them.
Queen Games is reprinting the 2005 Stefan Feld game Roma. In Roma, players use a mixed card and dice strategy to gain victory points or money.
Queen is releasing Escape: Zombie City Big Box, a compilation of the excellent 2014 Escape: Zombie City with it’s Expansion 1: Survivor Chronicles and the mini-expansion Queenies 1, 2, and 3. In this 15 minute cooperative real time game, players try to gather supplies, avoid or attack the zombies, start up the VW microbus and get out of the city. The new big box includes new challenges, tokens, zombies, road tiles, and characters with new abilities.
12 Thieves is a new reprint of the 2007 Spiel Nominee Thief of Baghdad. 12 Thieves is a card game where players try to maneuver their 12 thieves around the bazaar in order to grab loot yet avoid the guards.
Solaris is a 3-5 player family friendly strategy game in which players mine the suns of distant galaxies. Solaris offers a variety of different strategies and tactics to come away the victor.
Captain Silver is a fast 2-4 player pirate game suitable for children. In Captain Silver, players pull pirate booty out of a bag, trying to feel for the right objects to win the treasure challenge.
Templar’s Journey players recruit knights from various cities to prepare for the holy crusade in Jerusalem. Players use cards to choose either a safe green action or a risky red action, which may give bigger rewards, but can result in a punishment for being greedy if other players choose the same action.
High Tide is a fast family push your luck game in which players try to place their deck chairs on different beaches as close to the sea as they can. But be careful – if the tide comes in too far, their chairs can be swept away.
In Worm Party, players use their fingers as worms celebrating in the great worm party, but Chicken Charly has come to the party. Players need to hide in the 3D earth mounds in the worm garden before being caught by Charly.
Stronghold Games is continuing their Great Designers line of games, the first two having been Porta Nigra by Wolfgang Kramer and Michael Kiesling and 504 by Friedemann Friese. Now Stronghold has announced the next three games in line, Kraftwagon-V6 Edition, The Fog of War, and Jorvik, along with the next game by the Engelsteins, The Dragon and Flagon.
Kraftwagon-V6 Edition is designed by Matthias Cramer and will feature all the same gameplay and mechanics as the original Kraftwagon game, the major difference is that an additional set of tiles has been added to the game in order to utilize V6 engines that were available at the time the game is based in. This edition will be available in August of 2016.
Next is The Fog of War, designed by Geoff Engelstein, this is a two player strategy game covering the European theater of World War 2 from 1940 to 1945. The game will focus less on the battling and more on the intelligence and planning aspects of the war, in the game you have to commit to your operations in advance using a unique mechanic called the “Operation Wheel”, but what you commit is secret so you can bluff your opponent. This will be Geoff’s first solo design game so look forward to it in September 2016.
Game number five in the series will be JORVIK, designed by Stefan Feld, and although was previously announced by Stronghold, it has been now officially been added to the Great Designers series. Jorvik, the modern city of York, was a major hub of trade and commerce in the viking era, and so in the game JORVIK you are Viking jarls trying to make your clan the most prestigious. How you do this is through funding pillaging runs, defending the city, hosting lavish feasts, trading goods, and hiring craftsman. Look for this game to arrive on shelves in October of 2016.
And last but not least, while not a part of the Great Designers series of games it shouldn’t be taken lightly as it is a Engelstein family creation, The Dragon and Flagon. This is a game of chaos where up to 8 people are trying to get the last flagon of the famous brew, The Dragon, and so will do anything to get it. You will be rolling barrels, swinging from chandeliers, pulling rugs out from under people, and all sorts of other craziness to try and be the one to grab that brew. Another aspect that is unique is that the board will be a 3D representation of the tavern so it can be set up differently each time, making the game even more interesting. Look for this game August of 2016.
You can read the press release below for more information on all the games mentioned.
Stronghold Games Announces Titles from Designers Matthias Cramer and Geoff Engelstein
Kraftwagen-V6 Edition (#3), The Fog Of War (#4), and Jorvik (#5) added to “The Great Designer Series”
New Jersey, USA – May 9, 2016
Stronghold Games is proud to announce the publication of three new late summer game releases, as well as the addition of games to the Stronghold Games’ The Great Designer Series :
Kraftwagen – V6 Edition, designed by Matthias Cramer (The Great Designer Series #3)
The Fog Of War, designed by Geoff Engelstein (The Great Designer Series #4)
The Dragon & Flagon, designed by Brian, Sydney, and Geoff Engelstein
JÓRVÍK, designed by Stefan Feld (previously announced, now added as The Great Designer Series #5)
Kraftwagen – V6 Edition, designed by Matthias Cramer, is a 2-4 player game exploring the dawn of the automotive industry in the early 20th century. Players advance the state of automobile development and production by playing as start-up companies, researching new technologies and building improved chassis and engines. Early Grand Prix races provide the young companies with prestige and money, but the players must maintain a key balance of fulfilling the demand preferences of buyers at the lowest possible price. In Kraftwagen – V6 Edition, a new set of tiles has been added, which feature the next technology available at the time, the V6 engine. Kraftwagen – V6 Edition has been designated the third game in The Great Designer Series from Stronghold Games. Street Date: August 2016. MSRP: $59.95.
The Fog Of War, designed by Geoff Engelstein, is a two player grand strategic game covering the European theater of World War II from 1940-1945. The game focuses on the planning and intelligence aspects of the war. Players create military operations utilizing the “Operation Wheel”, which is a unique mechanism that forces players to commit to operations in advance, while giving opportunities for bluffing as well as intelligence gathering by the enemy. Each turn the dial on the Operation Wheel is rotated by one position, which controls when an operation can be launched and any attack or defense bonuses that apply. The Fog Of War is Stronghold Games’ first war game. It is also Geoff Engelstein’s first solo game design after a string of co-designed games. The Fog Of War has been designated the fourth game in The Great Designer Series from Stronghold Games. Street Date: September 2016. MSRP: $59.95 (tentatively).
The Dragon & Flagon, designed by Brian, Sydney, and Geoff Engelstein, is a game of chaos and mayhem for 2-8 players. The Dragon & Flagon is a tavern world-renowned for its most magical drink, The Dragon. Legend has it that one sip of The Dragon can give a hero wondrous abilities beyond their wildest dreams — but with a tavern full of thirsty adventurers and only one flagon left, things are bound to go wrong. Players take on roles of a very diverse group of adventurers who throw mugs, roll barrels, smash chairs, cast spells, wield weapons, swing from the chandelier, and pull the rug out from under fellow adventurers as they attempt to gain the greatest reputation in the land. The game features multiple play modes and a 3D tavern environment, which can be set up differently every time for even more variety of play. Street date: August 2016. MSRP: $59.95.
JÓRVÍK, designed by Stefan Feld, was announced in a previous Press Release (see “Stronghold Games and eggertspiele Announce Strategic Partnership”, February 13, 2016). JÓRVÍK has now been designated the fifth game in The Great Designer Series from Stronghold Games. Street Date: October 2016. MSRP: TBD “We are very excited by this group of games”, said Stephen Buonocore, President of Stronghold Games. “We are adding several games by renowned designers into The Great Designers Series, as well as publishing our first war game. The broadening of our catalog and market position continues in a robust way with these new titles”.
About Stronghold Games LLC:
Stronghold Games LLC is a publisher of high-quality board and card games in the hobby game industry. Since 2009, Stronghold Games has released many highly-regarded games, including the best-selling “Survive: Escape From Atlantis!”, the most innovative deck-building game, “Core Worlds”, the smash-hit game line of “Space Cadets”, and its latest copublished game line “Among The Stars”. Stronghold Games publishes great game designs developed both in-house and in partnership with European publishers. Stronghold Games LLC is a Limited Liability Company formed in the State of Delaware, USA.
The Castles of Burgundy is a Euro, ‘point salad’ game by Stefan Feld and is one of his most popular games, (especially for two players), and now it is getting a card version.
The Hundred Years’ war is over and the Renaissance is looming. Conditions are perfect for the princes of the Loire Valley to propel their estates to prosperity and prominence. Through strategic trading and building, clever planning, and careful thought, players add settlements and castles, practice trade along the river, exploit silver mines, farm livestock, and more in this classic Stefan Feld Eurogame.
The game looks to keep the same style & artwork as the board game and will be published by Ravensburger. It is expected to launch in the US in April 2016, possibly slightly sooner in Europe. You can read more over at BGG here.
The 2015 International Gamers Award nominees for general strategy games released between July 1, 2014 and June 30, 2015 have been announced. The nominees are grouped in two categories—multiplayer and two-player games.
The multiplayer nominees are:
Tasty Minstrel Games/Quined Games
Matthew Dunstan and Brett Gilbert
Space Cowboys/Rebel pl./Asmodee
Days of Wonder
Andrea Chiarvesio and Pierluca Zizzi
ADC Blackfire Entertainment
Michael Keller and Andrea Odendahl
PD Verlag/999 Games/Stronghold Games
Dlp Games/Tasty Minstrel Games
Gil d’Orey, Nuno Bizarro Sentieiro and Paulo Soledade
In what will be exciting news for Stefan Feld fans Tasty Minstrel Games (TMG) will be re-releasing Luna a popular Feld title that has been out of print for a few years now.
“The end of her regency is nigh. It’s time to clear the way for a new bearer of the burden. She will keep a wary eye on the novices representing their Orders and trying to win her favor. Eventually, she will have to come to a decision. Which Order will prove itself worthy to decide on her successor? There will be a new Moon Priestess and she will bear the title: LUNA.”
In Luna 1-4 players take on the role of heads of the different Orders trying to convince the Moon Priestess who is about to retire that they are the ones worth of being her successor. They will need to place/move their novices on islands that surround a central temple island. They will need to be in the right place at the right time to collect the influence points needed to win the game.
There isn’t a whole lot of information available about the reprint except that it is expected to be released in the Oct/Nov and the box art has not changed except for the addition of the TMG logo.