Grey Fox Games

tasty minstrel games

battlecruiser

First up Eminent Domain: Battlecruisers a new stand-alone game by Phillip DuBarry that is set in the Eminent Domain universe. Battlecruisers will pit 3-5 players against each other trying to achieve victory through glorious achievements…or just be the last ship standing. Each of the players will have a hand of actions that are almost exactly the same and secretly choose one at the same time. The catch is you want to choose an action that no one else does. But don’t worry you’ll know what their last action played was. The game should be intense fun and take about 30 minutes.

In Eminent Domain: Battlecruisers, you want to be the first to escape with 15 victory points, or be the last ship standing. Each round you and your opponents each play a card from your identical hands. If you play the same card as an opponent, you’ll clash and bad things will happen! But if you manage to sneak a card through unhindered, then you’ll reap the benefits.

ed exotica

Eminent Domain: Exotica is an expansion for Eminent Domain that will introduce two new planet types: Exotic planets and Asteroids. Exotic planets will introduce Alien icons that will require converters to use them for the regular roles while Asteroids will do very little for you, almost useless really, until you develop the “Asteroidal” techs that will get better and better the more asteroids you have in your empire.

Your civilization has grown to the edge of the known universe. To expand farther you’ll need to explore exotic worlds and learn their language and customs. Mine foreign asteroids for valuable crystal and befriend alien cultures in Eminent Domain: Exotica!

Look for both Battlecruisers and Eminent Domain: Exotica to show up on Kickstarter after Eminent Domain: Microcosm ships to backers.

gold west

In addition TMG has reported on other games in their pipeline that will not be on Kickstarter. They are:

  • Gold West – Pre-production is done, and printing has begun.
  • Flip City (formerly known as Design Town) – Art is 100% updated, pre-production done, and printing is funded.
  • Luna – Artwork 100% updated for TMG release and moving into pre-press.
  • Cthulhu Realms – Art is 100% finished and pre-production is underway.
  • Dungeon of Fortune – Artwork is 95% finished.
  • Steamworks – Artwork is approaching finished, pre-production needs to start, and funding is needed.
  • Downfall – Artwork is 50-70% finished.
  • Amun-Re – Artwork is being reworked in cooperation with a French publisher.
  • Zombie Roll – Game design is finished and we are in discussions with another publisher for its future release.

 

tasty minstrel golden geeks

In Tasty Minstrel Games’ latest newsletter, founder Michael Mindes discusses three areas that are hot topics for TMG at present.  But before that, TMG encourages everyone to try AquaSphere, the latest game from Stefan Feld, and Village Port, expansion to Village, by Markus & Inka Brand.  Both of these games have limited availability.

Golden Geek Awards

TMG has 6 different titles that have been nominated for various categories of the Golden Geek Awards on boardgamegeek.com.  These titles are:

  • AquaSphere – Game of The Year  /  Strategy
  • Orleans – Game of The Year  /  Strategy  /  Innovative
  • Scoville – Artwork & Presentation
  • Eminent Domain: Escalation – Expansion
  • Burgoo – Abstract
  • This Town Ain’t Big Enough For The 2-4 Of Us – Abstract

Testing

In the past year, TMG has been able to expand services to their customers through expanding their staff, resulting in 4 full-time staff and several key contract-based workers.  Mindes states that he is in the midst of testing many things within the company structure, and states the following things explicitly:

  • Everything we decide to do is for the benefit of our Customers. This is our guiding principle.

  • We strive to more directly interact with our Customers while being able to continually create fantastic games that they want.

  • We have a gigantic pipeline of games that is around 40 titles right now, and want to bring these to life quickly, steadily, and carefully.

  • We want to have deep and valuable relationships with our closest stakeholders, this includes game designers, artists, key retailers, reviewers, email subscribers, and so forth.

Successes

TMG lists its top 3 successful sellers:

  • Dungeon Roll – 40,000+
  • Village – About 16,000
  • Eminent Domain – About 15,000

For more information on Tasty Minstrel Games and this latest company news announcement, visit the newsletter here.

orleans

Tasty Minstrel Games is back on Kickstarter, this time raising funds for Essen 2014 hit Orléans. Set in medieval France, Orléans is a worker placement and resource management game with a twist. Dubbed “bag building”, players take actions to seed personal draw bags with additional worker tokens. Every round, players draw a number of workers from their bags and take actions based on what they’ve drawn.

“During the medieval goings-on around Orléans, you must assemble a following of farmers, merchants, knights, monks, etc. to gain supremacy through trade, construction and science in medieval France.”

orleans 2

Orléans comes in two flavors: a basic edition with standard cardboard components, and a one-time Kickstarter exclusive deluxe version with metal coins and stickered wooden discs.

If you’re interested in backing Orléans, head over to the Kickstarter page for all the details. For more information and to get our opinion, check out the Dice Tower review of Orléans.

Over at the Dice Tower, a new Board Game Breakfast was released. In this week’s episode we are treated with the usual suspects (Board game Apps with Suzanne, Snakes & Lattes, Head in the Clouds with Chaz Marler, etc). This week includes a discussion with Scott Mindes, owner of Tasty Minstrel Games.

microcosm

From Michael Mindes and the fine folks at Tasty Minstrel Games comes the a mashing of one of their biggest properties and one of their specialties.  Eminent Domain Microcosm is a two player micro game designed by Seth Jaffee and set in the Eminent Domain Universe.  With just 34 cards this really does solidly fit into the micro game genre.  Being only two players this game should be appealing to those who enjoy the full version of Eminent Domain.  In addition because the price point on it is fairly low you can try it out without feeling too guilty about plunking down some substantial investment.

The key to the game is the multi-use cards. You’re constantly watching every avenue for synergies between your hand, your discard pile, and the planets or different technologies. But don’t get caught focusing too much on your own empire … or your efforts will just end up in your opponent’s spoils of war.

In addition to the base game they are also including 14 promo cards 8 for Eminent Domain, 5 for Eminent Domain: Battlecruisers, and 1 for dungeon roll.  In addition they are offering the kickstarter edition of Dungeon Roll along with add ons like their branded sleeves and copies the original game and its expansion.

microcosm components

While TMG did have some delays getting games out earlier in the year causing many of their projects to be delayed anywhere from 2-5 months they have seemed to gotten production under control.  With four major games still outstanding.  Current projects appear to be near to on time though with any company delays can always happen.

If this sounds interesting to you head on over to Kickstarter for all of the details here.

dtn gencon

 

So, the entire DTN crew will be bringing you constant coverage of Gen Con this year.  The quickest way to receive updates is to follow @dicetower_news on Twitter.  You will receive Tweet alerts throughout the day of many exciting events and news. All of the pictures that you’ll see in this, and many future articles, can be seen first on Twitter, live, throughout the day.

So today was setup day.  Many of the Publishers were setting up in the Convention Center and many had their demo play rooms set up.  I had the luxury of play testing, along with Eric Summerer and Dan King from The Dice Tower, City Hall by Tasty Minstrel Games.  Designer Michael Keller set up a game that we were able to play through.  Unbelievably, I came in second – behind Michael himself (go figure, right?)

 

Michael Keller - Designer of City Hall

Michael Keller – Designer of City Hall

A stop at the Tasty Minstrel room wouldn’t be complete without Michael Mendes himself (owner of TMG).  Holding up a copy of Scoville – an exciting new game from designer Ed Marriott.

 

Michael Mendes - owner of Tasty Minstrel Games

Michael Mendes – owner of Tasty Minstrel Games

One of my favorites, that I actually got to play test, is Downwood Tales, the newest expansion to the popular dungeon crawl – Mice & Mystics, from designer Jerry Hawthorne (Plaid Hat Games)

Downwood Tales - Mice & Mystics expansion

Downwood Tales – Mice & Mystics expansion

 

Here were some items on display at the FFG booth:

 

Last Banquet

Last Banquet

New Flight Template for Star Wars Armada

New Flight Template for Star Wars Armada

New X Wing Wave Ships

New X Wing Wave Ships

Just a few familiar faces:

Tom with Designer Richard Launius

Tom with Designer Richard Launius

Rob and a Happy Tom

Rob and a Happy Tom

Tom with Scott w/Arcane Wonders

Tom with Scott w/Arcane Wonders

Tom with Sheriff of Notthingham

Tom with Sheriff of Notthingham

Dice Tower Crew

Dice Tower Crew

Rob Searing & Zee Garcia

Rob Searing & Zee Garcia

tasty minstrel banner

In the newest Tasty Minstrel Games newsletter, Gen Con attendees are given exciting information on Bomb Squad.  Bomb Squad will be launching on Kickstarter soon but demos will be available next week at Gen Con.  TMG can be found in booth 359.

Events

Bomb Squad is a cooperative game where players must disarm bombs and save hostages as they race against the clock.  It features real-time play, hidden card information, and limited communication.

Demo # 137 – In room 137, TMG will have 14 tables of demos running.  The list of games will include: City Hall, Eminent Domain, Belfort, Ground Floor, II Vecchio, and Rialto.

There will also be a Harbour Coloring Contest.

Coming Soon

TMG will have prototypes of the following games: Aquasphere, Scoville, Battlecruisers, Eminent Domain: Microcosm & Exotica, Harbour, and 3-4 Headed Monster.  These can be found in room 137.

 

aqua sphere

Tasty Minstrel Games posted the concept art for Aquasphere, a new game from designer Stefan Feld that should be hitting Kickstarter soon.

Eric Martin, with BoardGameGeek, posted pictures from Origins here.

If you haven’t heard about this worker placement game yet:

The game board in AquaSphere has two main areas: A research station comprised of six sectors in which your scientist conducts experiments and a headquarters where your engineer supervises preparation of the bots. During each of the four game rounds, you take several turns, and on each turn you either:

  • Use your engineer in the headquarters to program a bot; each round you can choose from three of the seven actions.
  • Have your scientist bring a bot to a sector to perform an action.

Through actions such as improving your lab, sending out submarines, collecting crystals, and examining octopuses, you expand the abilities of your team or gather knowledge points, which are necessary to win. Additional challenges result from the limited size of your lab, which is your personal stock; you can increase the size of your lab, which makes life easier, but this costs valuable time.

AquaSphere is a challenging game of strategy and tactics with different paths to victory that requires planning in advance as well as skillful use of short-term opportunities.

harbour

Harbour is an easy to learn light-hearted fantasy board game from Tasty Minstrel Games and designer Scott Almes for 2-4 players that packs a punch in 20-30 minutes for only $20. Are you ready for the rising tides of Harbour?

harbour mats

HOOK – Easy to learn, easy to teach, still satisfying
LINE – The decisions of a heavier game in under half an hour
SINKER – Special player powers, innovative market, tons of replay ability

In Harbour, players are ambitious entrepreneurs in a light-hearted Fantasy port city. They collect and exchange goods, make shipments, manipulate the market, and purchase buildings as the waterfront community quickly develops.

The closing date on Kickstarter is July 16, 2014, the current pledged amount is $82,601 and the funding goal for the project is $15,000. Get your copy for just $20. Estimated delivery: Mar 2015.