Dice Tower Newsletter

tasty minstrel games

Upper Deck is getting ready to release another new game, this time it’s a drafting game called Dungeon Draft.  Not much has been released about it yet but I imagine it will be similar to Lost Legends as you will be drafting cards to outfit your hero with better gear to fight monsters.  The game will come with 200 cards and boasts only a play time of 30 minutes for 2 to 5 players.  Look for more information to come out as the game’s release in September comes closer.

Next is the second big expansion to a hot game, and that’s Orleans: Trade and Intrigue.  This expansion will include “new place tiles, a new “beneficial deeds” game board, a new and challenging set of events, and trade contracts. The “Intrigue” introduces ways to hinder your opponents’ progress or even allow you to take over your opponents’ achievements.”  Look for this expansion to hit stores in September of this year from Tasty Minstrel Games

Last is not a game but dice for use in your games, well, maybe for use in your games.  These are the Polyhero Dice – Warrior Set, dice that are shaped like the different pieces of equipment a warrior would have like gauntlet d10s, a helmet d12, or a sword d6.  They may not be the best rolling dice, but they are highly unique looking dice, and they come in a case that can hold 90 sleeved cards.  Look for these on store shelves soon from Game Salute.

New releases continue to be announced, and this time around we have a game that everyone is looking forward to.  That game is the latest in the legacy style games, Charterstone, from Stonemaier Games and set for release in September of this year.  Charterstone aims to take the legacy system and use it as a way to fashion a truly unique game that once you are done can be played over and over.  Another interesting aspect to this game is that there is no rulebook, you just start playing the game and it will teach you the rules as you go along.  I am very much looking forward to this game, although with tempered enthusiasm after Seafall failed to live up to expectations.

Next is the reprint and update to 5th edition of Alien Frontiers, the dice worker placement game that put Kickstarter on the board game map.  Not much was said about what has changed, but I imagine little errors and updates were made to create this new edition.  Also being released will be the Factions expansion as well as all 7 of the mini expansions for the game.  Look for all of these on store shelves at the end of the year in December.

Another new release to retail is the notoriously difficult video game become board game, Dark Souls.  Currently it’s only the base game getting a release date right now but if you missed the Kickstarter, you will be able to start your Dark Souls collection in April.  I have no doubt that as time goes on, all the expansions sets and such that were unlocked in the Kickstarter will hit retail so we will have to be patient for those.

Next is a much needed reprint, and that is the second edition of Amun-Re, a classic game from well known board game designer, Reiner Knizia.  Tasty Minstrel Games will be publishing this edition and will feature updated art and tweaks/revisions to rules and board from the first edition.  Look for this game to hit store shelves in March, so brush up on those pyramid building skills in the mean time.

Then we have another Kickstarter game hitting retail and that is the wonderfully blue (color not mood) game called Lisboa.  In Lisboa you are the nobles of the city trying to rebuild after getting hit by multiple disasters at once, effectively leveling the city.  You will be building buildings, restarting commerce, and influencing others to re-open the new Lisboa.  Look for this game from Eagle – Gryphon Games on store shelves later this year in June.

After that we have a new expansion for the Tasty Minstrel game Flip City, called Flip City: Wildness.  This expansion takes you out of the city into the great outdoors, where you can further develop your city and offer your residents a way to get away from it all.  This expansion come with 78 new cards, enough that you can play with this expansion by itself, or combine it with the standard game for even more variety.  Look for this on store shelves in March of this year.

And finally, we have a new entry from IDW in the 8-bit inspired Random Encounter series of games called Random Encounter: Seas of the Sea Chicken.  The game is billed as “part poker, part tactical combat” and features all new cards and even some new mechanics compared to the previous game.  However, even with these new changes, the game is still fully compatible with the first game so you will be able to play with one or both of them at the same time.  Look for this game on store shelves in May.

 

[UPDATE: Lisboa was listed as releasing this month when actual date is in June]

Tasty Minstrel Games has launched another crowdfunding campaign for an upcoming release. Designed by Mark Major and developed at TMG for more than two years the community now has an opportunity to fund Chimera Station.

In Chimera Station, 2-4 players attempt to build a space station over five rounds in a unique twist on a worker placement game. Each round has three phases, the first and third rounds are familiar to most people who have delved into this genre of game: Placement and Feeding. It’s the middle phase that makes the other two phases vastly more interesting. In the Splicing Phase, prepped workers are upgraded to have extra parts. Claws, leaves, brains, and my favorite, tentacles. The physical components allow you to add up to two additional sections into each of your six workers with interlocking pieces. Extra parts means your workers gain various abilities such as displacing other workers and gaining extra resources.

Following TMG’s recent trend, Chimera Station is available in a DELUXE format which includes upgraded components such as metal coins. There are also a line of stretch goals to upgrade the DELUXE version even more, and add a mini expansion. The Kickstarter Campaign is live now and will go through October 7, 2016. The game is expected to ship in June of 2017, but with the limited nature of the DELUXE product, the time to act is now.

Check out TMG’s Kickstarter Page for more information including reviews, preview videos by Man Vs Meeple, Rahdo, UndeadViking, and Bowers Game Corner. Since TMG hasn’t shared their splicing technology, we were not able to combine Radho and UndeadViking, so you’ll have to watch their reviews separately.

yokohama deluxe

Tasty Minstrel Games would like to announce their current project, Yokohama Deluxe, a new version of Yokohama that includes metal coins and upgraded wooden components.

Yokohama is a game by Hisashi Hayashi in which players take on the role of merchants in the Meiji period, an important era of commerce and international trade in Japan’s history.  Players work to gain fame through successful business practices, including building a store, broadening their sales channels, learning a variety of techniques, and responding to trade orders from abroad.

yokohomo components

TMG has clearly expressed that they are providing the upgraded components in this deluxe version of Yokohama at cost to backers, and that this will be a limited, one-time opportunity to obtain this deluxe version.  For more information and to support this project, visit its Kickstarter page here.

coloseum

Just launched on Kickstarter from Tasty Minstrel Games is the reprint of the classic game Colosseum.  In Colosseum you are a Roman impresario trying to produce the grandest spectacles and attract the most spectators to your colosseum.  You will do this by collecting sets of performances and upgrading you colosseum in five different phases; investing, acquiring events, trading events, producing events, and closing ceremonies.

In investing you will spend money you have earned to upgrade you colosseum to improve your ability to put on shows.  Through the acquire and trade portions you will first bid on sets of events to acquire them, and then trade events with other players in order to better your sets.  In the producing phase you can put on shows and earn points and money based on how well your production satisfies the noble’s desires.  Lastly in the closing ceremonies phase the highest scoring player gets a bonus and donates an asset to the lowest scoring player, everyone who put on a show removes a performer and the round begins again.  The player who put on the best single performance by the end of five rounds wins.

coloseum board

The campaign also boasts other upgrades to the game such as metal coins, updated art and rules, some additional event scrolls, and other component upgrades as stretch goals.  With the campaign funding in record time and over three weeks left, the game is going to look pretty good by the end.  You can head over to the campaign page to check it out and pledge for your copy.

ion award

Each year at SaltCon,  in Layton-Utah, the winners of the Ion awards are announced. The Ion awards are given out to unpublished game prototypes that show excellence in game design.  49 entries were whittled down to just four in each category – light games and strategy games.

The award in the strategy category was given to Brian Kelley for his game Scarlet Pimpernel. In the light games category it was given to Adam Wyse for his game Cypher (not to be confused with the game already released by AEG).  Both winners are in talks with publishers so they won’t be unpublished prototypes for much longer.

Congratulations to both of them and you can read the full press release below as well as see who the judges were for the awards this year.

PRESS RELEASE

For Immediate Release, 2016

The 2016 Ion Award Competition was held at the SaltCON board game convention on March 3, 4, and 5 in Layton Utah. The award is for unpublished board game prototypes that show excellence in game design. We are pleased to announce the winners of this year’s awards:

Best Strategy Game was awarded to Scarlet Pimpernel designed by Brian Kelley.

Best Light Game was awarded to Cypher designed by Adam Wyse.

It was announced that both finalists were in talks with publishers. For the last 6 years, the Ion Award winners have received publishing contracts. There were 49 total entries in the competition. Four finalists competed in the Light Game category and four in the Strategy Game category at SaltCON.

We would like to thank our finalist judges:

In the Strategy category we would like to thank Jason Grantz of Eagle-Gryphon Games, Andy Van Zandt of Tasty Minstrel Games, and Ryan Laukat of Red Raven Games.

In the Light Games category we would like to thank Daniel Peterson of Mayday Games, Patrick Nickell of Crash Games, Michael Coe of Gamelyn Games, and Tim Fowers of Tim Fowers Games.

Thank you to all the entrants, and to the community for supporting the Ion Award! We are proud of the efforts of the designers and wish them the best of success in the future. The Ion Award is a game design award for unpublished games and their designers.  It is held annually, with the final judging taking place at SaltCON. SaltCON is the premier board game convention in Utah, featuring the Ion Award Game Design Competition, as well as board game tournaments, demos, exhibitors, and open gaming.  SaltCON 2017 will be March 2-4, 2017.

Past Ion Award winners can be found found by following this link.

 

Tasty Minstrel Games would like to announce that their new dice-drafting/stealing game, Thief’s Market, is now on Kickstarter.

Gameplay in Thief’s Market occurs over a series of rounds in which players will split the loot from a “hard day’s work” and then spend it on useful items, finery, and henchmen.  These purchased items will grant the ability to manipulate your take further as you go to market.  Using the items you purchase, you can take actions such as flipping dice to the desired side, make extra purchases, re-roll dice, gain points, reduce the cost of purchases at the market, and create effects when you purchase certain cards.

A copy of Thief’s Market contains the following:

  • 13 Custom Dice
  • 41 High Quality Game Cards
  • Start Player Marker
  • Player Reference Cards
  • Coin Tokens
  • Infamy Tokens
  • Rulebook

The project has met multiple stretch goals currently, and aims to add metal coins to the game when a certain pledge level is reached.  For more information and to support this project, visit the Kickstarter page here.

thiefs market 2

Tasty Minstrel Games announces a brand new dice game from Dave Chalker (Get Bit) called Thief’s Market.  On each turn in this fast dice game, 3-5 players will roll the dice and take turns claiming what they want from the dice pool as loot (or stealing from each other).  After all players have loot, they then are able to purchase useful cards with special abilities using any “gems” claimed.  “Yellow coin sacks” provide currency to be used later in the form of “wild gems”, and purple masks provide players with victory points.  Set in the same thematic world as Harbour and features the art of Rob Lundy.

TMG plans to begin its Kickstarter project for Thief’s Market in January of 2016.  TMG states: “Our goal is to be able to deliver the game to you via Send From China (with double-bubble protection like on Harbour) straight from China to arrive 6-8 before GenCon so that we can comfortably release the game at GenCon 2016 (and hopefully sell tons there).”

Watch for this project on Kickstarter over the next month.

king of air steam

The World’s Fair gathers the greatest minds around the globe and gives them an opportunity to show business moguls and upstarts alike their genius. In Kings of Air and Steam: World’s Fair you are one of those business tycoons that wants to get the latest gizmo that will boost your productivity…but at what opportunity costs?

Tasty Minstrel Games has launched a Kickstarter for the first expansion of Kings of Air and Steam called World’s Fair. Kings of Air and Steam is a programmed movement pick up and deliver game designed by Scott Almes who also designed the Tiny Epic line of games. At the beginning of a round players program their airships movement for 4 turns, then they reveal one of the four cards that dictate their turn order and movement options; after moving they can take one of a number of different actions.

kings air steam cards

Kings of Air and Steam: World’s Fair adds new Technology Cards to the game as well as two new teams and 4 new characters. The technology cards are drafted at the start of the game and must be purchased with an action as well as a cost indicated on the card. These cards will add some surprise and more steampunk flavor to the game with the gadgets and gizmos on them. The two new teams will allow the full complement of 7 players to have some variety in the teams in play each game and bring new and exciting unique abilities into play.

Kings of Air and Steam: World’s Fair is wonderfully illustrated by Josh Cappel who also did the artwork on the base game and can be found on Kickstarter here. If you don’t own the base game and are interested in the expansion there is a pledge level for both so head on over to Kickstarter and check out the latest in the TMG line of games.

scoville labs

 

Ok, so this announcement made me extremely happy. I had the chance to play Scoville last year at Gen Con. Scoville, published by Tasty Minstrel Games and designed by Ed Marriott, is an extremely fun game with fun game play and super cool components. I loved the game so much that I built a custom insert for it.

Image from www.inserthere.me

Image from www.inserthere.me

Well, there’s an expansion available to Kickstart called the “Labs Expansion”.

Labs introduces 3×3 personal lab boards to the game that players use to breed peppers outside of the influence of other players. You plant in your lab after planting on the main board, and when you do, you will collect new peppers based on what is adjacent in your lab. So, if you plant a black pepper next to a white pepper in your lab, then you will get a phantom pepper.

scoville lab board

As of the writing of this article there are 9 days to go and TMG has already surpassed their funding goal and well on their way to reaching a variety of stretch goals. At $20.00, this is definitely a no-brainer for me. To learn more and fund the project, you can click here to view the campaign.