Stuffed Fables

Fans of heroic rodent campaign games, rejoice! Plaid Hat Games has announced that ‘Aftermath,’ the latest entry in the Adventure Book Game series, is now available for pre-order.

Designed by Stuffed Fables and Mice and Mystics designer Jerry Hawthorne, Aftermath is set in a world where humans have mysteriously vanished, leaving common animals like mice, hamsters, guinea pigs, and other small creatures to inherit the Earth. Across 27 story-driven mission, Players will take on the role of one of these animals and must explore suburban ruins in order to scavenge for food and other resources to provide for their colony while also being on guard against predators.

The game promises dynamic card play that will allow players to complete a wide variety of actions and also will include a mechanic for players to choose whether to use combat or diplomacy to resolve various threats. Finally, similar to Dead of Winter, each player will have a personal goal to accomplish in addition to the main objective.

The list of contents, pre-order and other information about this upcoming release can be found here.

It’s that time of year again – the time for the Dice Tower and it’s contributors to vote for the games worthy of an award among a variety of categories, not the least of which is the best game of year. These are the best of the best according to the panel of judges on games released in English in 2018.  You can see previous winners, along with this year’s nominees, on the Dice Tower Awards website, and look forward to the winners being announced at Dice Tower Con later this year.

Best Family Game of the year

Fireball Island
Gizmos
Reef
Space Base
My Little Scythe

Best Artwork

Everdell
Root
Grimm Forest
Cerebria
Rising Sun

Most Innovative

Chronicles of Crime
Nyctophobia
Detective: A Modern Crime Boardgame
KeyForge
The Mind

Best Reprint

Fireball Island
Brass Lancashire
Endeavor: Age of Sail
High Society
The Estates

Best Strategy

Root
Teotihuacan
Brass Birmingham
Coimbra
Underwater Cities

Best Production

Rising Sun
Fireball Island
Everdell
Brass Birmingham
Grimm Forest

Best Expansion

Scythe: Rise of Fenris
Terraforming Mars: Prelude
Roll Player: Monsters and Minions
Great Western Trail: Rails to the North
Root: The Riverfolk

Best Game from a Small Publisher

Root – Leder Games
Chronicle of Crime – Lucky Duck Games
Underwater Cities – Delicious Games
Vindication – Orange Nebula LLC
Obsession – Kayenta Game

Best Cooperative Game of the year

Chronicles of Crime
Just One
The Mind
Detective: A Modern Crime Boardgame
Stuffed Fables

Best Two-Player

KeyForge
War Chest
Duelosaur Island
Haven
Mythic Battles: Pantheon

Best New Designer

Wolfgang Warsch (Quacks of Quedlinberg, The Mind, & Ganz Schon Clever)
David Cicurel (Chronicles of Crime)
Catherine Stippell (Nyctophobia)
Ivan Lashin (Smartphone Inc.)
Tim Eisner (Grimm Forest)

Best Party Game

Just One
Decrypto
The Mind
Drop it
Trapwords

Best Theming

Western Legends
Root
Detective: A Modern Crime Boardgame
Stuffed Fables
Chronicles of Crime

Game of the Year

Root
Teotihuacan
Chronicles of Crime
Underwater Cities
Brass Birmingham
Western Legends
Rising Sun
Architects of the West Kingdoms
Everdell
The Mind

For anyone who enjoys programming, deduction, and/or cooperative games, keep reading. Designed by the excellent Nikki Valens (designer of Mansions of Madness 2E and Legacy of Dragonholt), Quirky Circuits is coming from Plaid Hat Games this summer and features some of the most adorable miniatures ever created. 2-to-4 players cooperate in one of twenty-one scenarios to complete their goals before their batteries run out. Using the same scenario book system that other Plaid Hat releases such as Stuffed Fables and Comanauts have used ensures quick and easy setup to support the fast and engaging gameplay.

“Players place programming cards face down, only knowing what types of cards their friends have played – movement, turn or quirk. Quirk cards must be played before a player uses any other card in their hand and every player must play at least one card per round. Using deductive reasoning, all players will move the robo-buddy around the board, trying to complete its mission!”

“Quirky” really is an appropriate adjective in the title, because that’s precisely what I wanted to write several times during this article to describe it. Everything about the look of the design is cute, fun, compact, and to-the-point, and that’s a great advantage for this game. Not to be understated, Quirky Circuits fits an excellent niche in the market right now, being a much more accessible point of entry to teach programmed movement and deduction, in stark contrast to the long-lived Robo Rally. Moreover, this is only the second cooperative version of such a mechanic after the heavyweight Mechs vs. Minions, where the speed of setup due to Plaid Hats innovation will really shine in comparison. If you’re interested in learning more about Quirky Circuits, check out Plaid Hat’s news and product pages for updates, pictures, full rules, and availability.

Though Forbes Magazine is not normally associated with board games reporting, it has published the occasional article on the hobby over the past couple of years.  In the intersection of lifestyle, innovation, technology, and family life, Forbes has invested some time in getting to know the board game hobby better.  Recently, it paid a visit to this year’s New York Toy Fair and discovered 30 new board games they felt should not be missed. Included in their report is a 50-minute video of the 30 games explained by the game presenters at the New York Toy Fair.  Some of the games in the video were just announced at the toy fair and provides some of the first looks at the game.  A few were older games that have been out for a number of years or were recently re-released.  Of course, Villainous, which took Toy of the Year award to the New York Toy Fair, tops the list.  Other great games such as Photosynthesis, Planet, Stuffed Fables, and Bunny Kingdom can be found on the Forbes list.  Check out the Forbes article to see their full list and their video report from the 2019 New York Toy Fair.  

Plaid Hat Games have had a great reception to their Stuffed Fables board game and have already made a Stuffed Fables Coloring Book available for free. This coloring book adds new Stuffies which can be added to the adventure. Now they’ve also released a stand-alone adventure for Stuffed Fables which can be added between chapters 3 and 4 and downloaded for free. In this adventure, players battle on the streets of their town against the dreaded Dollmaker.

Image from ICV2

Looney Labs has partnered with Gale Force Nine for two new Star Trek Fluxx Games. The first will be based on Star Trek: The Original Series while the second will be based on Star Trek: The Next Generation. Each Fluxx will feature popular characters like Captain Kirk and Captain Picard. Fluxx is a card game with ever changing rules where play starts out pretty simple but the rules change over time as the players play their cards.

Andrew Looney, CCO of Looney Labs:

“I’ve been watching Star Trek since 1972, when I was 9 years old, tuning into the animated series on Saturday mornings. I’ve watched every series since, so it’s safe to say I’m a pretty big Star Trek fan. I’m VERY excited about working with this license!” [source]

Both Star Trek Fluxx games will support 2-6 players, aged 8+.

A new standalone expansion with 165 new cards called Boss Monster: Rise of the Minibosses is being released in July 2018 from Brotherwise Games. The bosses are back but this time they can added Mini-bosses to their dungeon which permanently modify Rooms. Players can now also earn coins, a new mechanism, through effective use of their Rooms and Spells. Those coins can be used to upgrade rooms or power up Mini-bosses. Also included are new bosses, spells, and heroes. The game will support 2-4 players, aged 13+, and plays in about half an hour. This expansion can also be combined with the original Boss Monster game.

Plaid Hat Games has announced Stuffed Fables designed by Jerry Hawthorne,  will have a retail release date of February 1st, 2018. This is a slight delay from the December release date given when the game was announced at GenCon 2017.

For those who pre-ordered the game Plaid Hat noted:

Customers who pre-ordered from the Plaid Hat Games web store will receive their copies at their door on or around February 1st. 

Stuffed Fables is the first in the new StoryBoard line of products by Plaid Hat Games. In the first game in this new line, Stuffed Fables, players take on the role of stuffed toys that have been drawn into the Fall, a dark realm ruled by a master of nightmares.

Stuffed Fables is a unique adventure game in which players take on the roles of brave stuffies seeking to save the child they love from a scheming, evil mastermind. Players roll and assign color-coded dice to perform a wide variety of actions, from daring melee attacks, to leaping across conveyor belts, or steering a racing wagon down a peril-filled hill.

StoryBoard games will come with a large storybook that, when opened, will have one page acting as a the board for the game while the opposite page will act as a rules reference and story guide. Stories will play out over multiple adventures, with each adventure moving through multiple pages from the immersive Storybook.

Playtime is listed at 60-90 minutes for 2-4 players with a recommended age of 7+. Players eager to find out more about how the game works can already take a look at the rulebook posted on the Plaid Hat Game website.

Eric Summerer has provided a rules overview over on youtube. If Eric’s voice on the video seems familiar it may be because you’ve listened to some of the hundreds of audiobooks and other voiceover projects Mr. Summerer has worked on.

What’s in the Box?

While it’s release is only a few weeks away, for those anxious to begin their stuffed adventures know that you can look forward to a box full of content. Stuffed Fable includes:

  • 23 miniatures
  • 35 multicolored dice
  • 1 dice bag
  • 6 unique character cards
  • 100+ page storybook
  • 1 Sideboard
  • 29 Lost cards
  • 10 Sleep cards
  • 47 Item cards
  • 40 Discovery cards
  • Counters

The Worlds of Jerry Hawthorne

Stuffed Fables will be the second universe that designer Jerry Hawthorne has brought to Plaid Hat Games. Hawthorne is the designer of the popular Mice & Mystics world. Hawthorne is also credited as a designer on multiple Heroscape products.

Kristen Pauline and Regis Demy are the artists bringing the world of Stuffed Fables to life.

Plaid Hat Games

Plaid Hat Games was acquired in 2015 by F2Z Entertainment, and subsequently Asmodee in 2016 when Asmodee absorbed F2Z. Plaid Hat Games now functions as an independent design studio under the Asmodee umbrella.

Plaid Hat Games are sharing previews of Stuffed Fables every Wednesday until the game’s release. This week Jerry Hawthorne, the game’s designer, shared his experiences bringing the game from concept to completion.

The idea originates from a few years ago. After seeing the Pixar movie, Inside Out, he became obsessed with gamifying it’s premise. He later realized that he didn’t really want to make a game inspired by the movie but rather to create an original story experience. His idea to create a game to evoke an emotional response lead him to think about kids and their stuffed animals which acted as surrogate parents. He then thought of weaving his tale around a little girl and stuffed animals which represented different parts of her personality as she grew up. The players learn who the girl is through the stuffed animals. In order to create this story he needed to break boardgame convention by relaying the experience in the form of a book instead of on a board.

Mr Hawthorne realized this would not be easy:

“Writing a story is tough in its own right, especially one that branches in different directions, but what Colby was proposing was to make each scene in the story fit on a ten by ten inch page. This meant that each story needed to be split into evenly sized chunks, and each chunk needed to fit on the given page. And each page had to not only offer a game experience, but also advance the narrative! Writing like this is incredibly hard, but it’s also a good way to focus your approach.”

The story’s antagonists needed to evoke an emotional response so he based them on anxiety and the things which cause us to lose sleep. This prevented the tale from being too dark and scary. For a detailed account of his experiences you can read the full article on the Plaid Hat Games website.

Expected retail release date for Stuffed Fables is December 2017.

Plaid Hat Games has announced Stuffed Fables designed by Jerry Hawthorne, the first in the new StoryBoard line of products.

In the first game in this new line, Stuffed Fables, players take on the role of stuffed toys that have been drawn into the Fall, a dark realm ruled by a master of nightmares.

Stuffed Fables is a unique adventure game in which players take on the roles of brave stuffies seeking to save the child they love from a scheming, evil mastermind. Players roll and assign color-coded dice to perform a wide variety of actions, from daring melee attacks, to leaping across conveyor belts, or steering a racing wagon down a peril-filled hill.

StoryBoard games will all come with a large storybook that, when opened, will have one page acting as a the board for the game while the opposite page will act as a rules reference and story guide. Stories will play out over multiple adventures, with each adventure moving through multiple pages from the immersive Storybook.

In addition to fighting minions, each page of the storybook offers numerous points of interest, charming characters to interact or trade with, as well as many unusual challenges. And each page is but one chapter that folds into a branching, overarching story with a multitude of items and a special discovery deck full of surprises.

Driven By Dice

On a players turn, they will draw 5 dice from a bag. The colors of the dice will determine what actions a player can take. White dice can re-stuff the stuffed heroes. Red dice and green dice perform melee and ranged attacks respectively. Yellow dice will allow for searching, blue dice will allow for special actions, and finally purple dice act as wild dice. Dice will help move items, use items and contribute to unique group tasks. Dice can even be stored for later to make stronger actions or multiple activations on a single turn.

A truly cooperative game, players can share dice or share stuffing, which acts as health in the game. As black dice are drawn minions emerge and attack, resetting the bag at the same time.

What’s in the Box?

Box contents include:

    • 23 miniatures
    • 35 multicolored dice
    • 1 dice bag
    • 6 unique character cards
    • 100+ page storybook
    • 1 Sideboard
    • 29 Lost cards
    • 10 Sleep cards
    • 47 Item cards
    • 40 Discovery cards
    • Counters

Playtime is listed at 60-90 minutes for 2-4 players with a recommended age of 7+. Players eager to find out more about how the game works can already take a look at the rulebook posted on the Plaid Hat Game website.

Gamers eager to help save their beloved child from a nightmarish land can preview and demo the game at GenCon 2017 in Plaid Hat Games booth #1537.

The Worlds of Jerry Hawthorne

Stuffed Fables will be the second universe that designer Jerry Hawthorne has brought to Plaid Hat Games. Hawthorne is the designer of Mice & Mystics as well as the subsequent expansions and Tail Feathers game. Hawthorne is also credited as a designer on multiple Heroscape products.

Mice & Mystics has proven to be both an evergreen title for Plaid Hat Games as well as being a critical hit. Awards for the game included:

Kristen Pauline and Regis Demy are the artists bringing the world of Stuffed Fables to life.

Plaid Hat Games

Plaid Hat Games was acquired in 2015 by F2Z Entertainment, and subsequently Asmodee in 2016 when Asmodee absorbed F2Z. Plaid Hat Games now functions as an independent design studio under the Asmodee umbrella.