tableau-building

Breaking Games has brought a new worker placement fantasy game, Dwellings of Eldervale, designed by Luke Laurie to Kickstarter! This 1-5 player game will have you each controlling a unique faction including Air, Earth, Water, Fire, Light, Darkness, Order, and Chaos. The game combines worker placement with tableau/engine building mechanisms as each player summons special units, dwell in Eldervale to gain points as well as combat advantages, battle other players or even monsters with dice driven combat that can be mitigated, play magic cards, and advance your elemental power.

The standard box includes 8 sets of player wooden components, 8 player boards but 11 factions, 8 monster cards, 49 magic cards, 8 jumbo starter cards, 72 adventure cards, 24 elemental hexes with unique artwork on every tile as well as 7 ruin hexes, 100 treasure tokens, 54 dice, 9 glass orbs, cardboard resources, and a board of elements. The game also comes with storage trays.

To find out more, visit their Kickstarter campaign here.

There’s still a large market for civilization-building games, as there’s a large breadth of separation between the 8+ hour civ games people commonly remember and the more “reserved” tabletop equivalents. In my experience, some of the more pleasant versions have been lighter, dice-driven affairs such as Roll Through the Ages or Nations: the Dice Game, but I understand those are an extreme compromise from the combative, strategic, map-oriented games that many prefer. Those that do, but still want something quicker, may be interested in Infinities: Defiance of Fate, already funded on Kickstarter as of writing this. It is described as a “4x-lite” game, which has strong tableau and area control mechanics mixed with dice-directed action allocation that plays at a decent clip and can be played in story and skirmish modes. As described on the campaign page:

     “The multiverse is an impossibly vast existence, accounting for every possible outcome of every possible point of divergence. In Infinities: Defiance of Fate you are the leader of a sci-fi or fantasy faction seeking to assemble an army, shape the very worlds you walk on, and fulfill or redefine your destiny. Experience a combination of accessible, tactical gameplay and rich, flexible storytelling as you forge your own timelines.”

The allusions to time and fate are not just buzzwords for this game, they’re mechanically literal. Timing is everything in this game, with every player choosing actions one at a time and cards to carry over from round-to-round to strategically place themselves in spots that may benefit them in the long-run. Fate, of course, manifests itself in the dice as per usual, but there’s a fair amount of manipulation and you don’t have to remain seated with what the dice decide for you. With easy to learn yet hard to master rules and simple combat, it all comes together as a pretty sharp, brisk package for those looking for lighter 4x fare. If you’re interested in learning more about Infinities: Defiance of Fate, be sure to check out their Kickstarter page for a full rules breakdown, updates, and community feedback.

Agricola, one of the great classics of the Eurogame genre, was originally released in 2007. It was reprinted as a revised edition with new rules, art, and cute little ‘animeeples’ in 2016.  But  Agricola: Farmers of the Moor, one of the more popular expansions, was not given the same treatment at that time. Lookout Games has now released the expansion with the matching updated art and pieces.

Agricola: Farmers of the Moor steps up the misery on your farm a notch from the base game by requiring that you keep your family warm in addition to feeding them.  But it’s not all starvation and pain, you have the opportunity to expand your farm by converting forests and peat bogs to arable land, and even better, you get some cute little horse meeples to add to your paddock. If you have the 5-6 player expansion for the base set, the expansion has everything you need to add the expansion in for all six players.

If you didn’t get quite enough medieval farming with the base set you bought in 2016, Agricola: Farmers of the Moor is available now. See the Lookout Games page (German) for more details.

Mars is hot… literally. Most of the time, except for when it is really cold.  But it is also hot as a theme in boardgaming right now, and Terraforming Mars is the leading the pack. Since its release in 2016, it launched straight to the top of the BoardGameGeek rankings and has stayed there, currently sitting in the #4 position amongst all other games.  With that popularity comes expansions, and a move out and away from the surface of Mars.  Terraforming Mars: The Colonies will be the fourth explansion for the game and will expand out into the rest of the solar system to put space stations in the void and on the moons of other planets. It follows the other Terraforming Mars games and will play with 1-5 players in 2 hours. It is currently scheduled to release 2018-10-15 with no word on if or when pre-orders will be available.

 

Pandasaurus Games has just announced a 2-player standalone sequel to its hit Dinosaur Island game.

Duelosaur Island will use completely new mechanics yet still give players that Dinosaur Island feel. It will have an entirely new hand-management and tableau-building engine perfectly suited for two players, as well as an “I cut, you choose” dice-drafting mechanism.

“”One of the things we loved most about the game is how much it felt like playing a game of Dinosaur Island, even though the mechanics are completely different.  You still roll DNA dice, you still make dinosaurs, you still must manage your threat level.  But then there is this super clever card mechanism that leaves you with so many tense decisions to make.  And don’t even get me started on the dice-drafting mechanism.  Once the DNA dice are rolled the first-player sets the market by assigning different dice different bonuses, but the second-player gets to choose first.  Do you give the dice you need to good bonuses and risk your opponent taking them?  Or do you play it safe and throw the solid bonuses on the dice you don’t want” Nathan McNair, President of Pandasaurus Games, said.”


Cards will have three potential purposes, giving players lots of choices on how to build their tableau and manage their hands. They can contain DNA sequences for your dinosaurs, blueprints for your park attractions, or they can be discarded for certain effects.

The game also comes with five brand new DNA dice. You can mix and match these dice with dice from Dinosaur Island, bringing new possibilities not only for this game but to the original game as well.

Duelosaur Island is designed by Ian Moss and developed by Dinosaur Island designer Jon Gilmour, with all-new artwork from Dinosaur Island artists Kwanchai Moriya and Peter Wocken.

The press release also teased some new announcements for the parent game coming soon.

Keep an eye on the Pandasaurus Games web site for more information on both Duelosaur Island and its predecessor.

Duelosaur Island is scheduled for release later in 2018.