Players are pirates on the cursed shores of Ouroboros Island where a time storm causes them to live the same day over and over again until the time storm finally breaks. The game is played over a series of loops where players will select plans at the beginning of each loop to move their crew around the island and collecting treasure along the way. The same events will keep happening each loop at the same time, so players will learn what the repeating day holds as the game unfolds. Once the time storm subsides, the game is over and the player with the most treasure wins the game!
Tasty Minstrel Games has announced
an absolute metric tonne of games slated for release in the following months:
some new, some reprints, and some just plain interesting. So without further
ado, here is the list…
“Planet Earth is overpopulated, but recent technological
developments open new possibilities – whole cities hovering high in the skies.”
Dilluvia Project, a game declared “awesome” by our own Jason Levine, is a heavy euro game from designer Alexandre Garcia, originally published by Spielworxx in 2015. Dilluvia is a glorious amalgamation of mechanisms, all coming together into a resource collection, cube management, area control festival where 2-4 players try to best manage a utopian flying city. Players jockey for position around a 4×4 grid of tiles, trying to secure the best resources by pointing to rows and columns. Cube collection leads to control of prime real estate in the city, in which buildings can be placed for points. Even the score mechanisms are unique, with “prestige points” giving the player more opportunity to earn true victory points in this deliciously crunchy mechanism salad. Look for Dilluvia Project to be reprinted this August.
“The journey out west was daunting and fraught with peril,
but you made it!”
Old West Empresario from designer Stan Kordonskiy (Dice Hospital) is a tile drafting and placement game for 2-4 players. Tiles can give the player actions each turn, or can score points at the end of the game. Like other tile placement games, everyone is trying to create a prosperous town, where neighboring buildings feed off of each other, generating more points. Look for Old West Empresario to hit stores at the end of August.
Homesteaders is a fast auction game from designer Alex Rockwell, which has garnered understandable love since its release in 2009. TMG has announced a new 10th anniversary edition of this classic, including a new expansion, New Beginnings. In Homesteaders, 2-4 players auction for buildings to place in their burgeoning western frontier town, managing precious resources (9 different types!). Buildings give the player new abilities, income, and point generation, however some buildings require workers to fully function. After 10 rounds, the player with the most points is declared victor, and gets to name their city. The new Homesteaders comes with metal coins and victory point tokens, 53 building tiles, 30 auction tiles, 25 worker meeples, 74 wooden resources, and even a metal start player token.
“Cats all over the world look forward to the Festival!”
Festival of a Thousand Cats from designer Fukutarou is a trick taking card game originally from Japan, which is sought after but difficult to obtain in the west. Tasty Minstrel has gotten the rights to reprint this quirky game, and it should hit western shores in late September. Cards have ranging number values, come in 4 different suits/seasons, and can score positive or negative points. 2 cards to be fought over are placed in the center of the play area, and these cards may have crows (negative points), fish, or milké (an intoxicating mixture of catnip and milk). Be careful – winning too much milké makes the cats sick and both fish and milké points are lost. Players each play one card from their hand, but cannot play the same suits as the scoring cards, unless there is no other option. After all players put in a card, the highest card played wins the higher of the 2 scoring cards, and the lowest wins the lower of the scoring cards. Add to this formula a varying distribution of numbers in each suit, and you end up with a very quirky, interesting take on trick taking.
“Stake your claim, build a mining empire, and keep one step
ahead of the competition!”
Rolled West from designer Daniel Newman is the new inevitable roll-and-write version of TMG’s popular Gold West (2015) from J. Alex Kevern. In Rolled West, 2-4 players roll dice to collect resources, in order to make settlements and score majorities for the various terrain types. Players can bank resources on opponent’s turns, fulfill contracts, make sales, or invest in futures. The game comes with 4 custom dice, 4 dry erase player boards, a dry erase score board, and markers.
“Deep beneath the surface of the earth lie gems, artifacts,
and other valuable things.”
Big Dig by Shaun Graham and Scott Huntington is a similar 2-4 player flip-and-write, dry erase game, where players flip over cards that dictate what shape of grid squares to cross off (dig) on their board. Digging out areas must proceed from the top or from already cleared areas, and certain areas cannot be excavated, except maybe by blowing them up! Players try to achieve the 3 random goals set on cards, and the first to do so wins. Lots of goals and double sided player boards lend variety to this new roll and write. Look for both Rolled West and Big Dig to come to stores in October 2019.
“Your prehistoric clan needs a little guidance. Hunt,
gather, figure out new techniques for doing things and make a little art along
Dawn of Mankind is coming from designer Marco Pranzo (Historia) and acclaimed artist Kwanchai Moriya. Not a lot of details are known about this title, except that players create the journey of their tribe, involving generations of families. Other players may inadvertently help you along if they proceed along the same story path. At the end of the game, the “story” left by your family translates into points. Dawn of Mankind is due to hit stores in Q4 2019.
Belfort is a worker placement/area control game in which 2-5 players collect resources and use them to create buildings and maintain control over city districts. Elves, Dwarves and Gnomes must work together and in conjunction with the town guilds to build the small village of Belfort into a bustling city!
For those of you who already own everything Belfort there is to own, a NEW Expansion! – Belfort: The New Expansion – with never before seen content is in development. This new expansion will be completely compatible with any edition of Belfort that was previously published.
Jay Cormier and Sen-Foo Lim, the designing duo known as the Bamboozle Brothers, are back again to create this new expansion content. In addition, the original artist, Josh Cappel, is working on the art for the expansion as well as revisiting the original Belfort art.
“We are working hard to make sure this edition will be truly something special and will be a welcome addition to the collections of those who have played the game before and those who are brand new to the experience.”
The new expansion needs a name
TMG has not put an official name on the new expansion yet and they are looking for help from backers. On the Kickstarter campaign page, you can take a look at the rules and offer up what you think would be the perfect name for the Belfort expansion. Once the campaign ends, TMG will make a final decision on the name.
The Belfort 10th Anniversary Edition campaign doesn’t have any Stretch Goals. TMG has chosen to pre-load it with component upgrades including metal coins and painted wood.
The Kickstarter campaign is fully funded and runs until October 20th. Several pledge levels are available for those new to the Belfort world who want to go all in as well as those who only want to upgrade their components or get the expansion.
Rob Searing here, Manager of Dice Tower News. Often I am spending my time writing and editing articles. It’s not often that I get to share “in” the news. GenCon is one of the few conventions I get to cover and there’s always so much going on. I spent a bit of time in the Exhibit Hall today meeting with various publishers and wanted to post some highlights and tips on where to consider running to when the convention opens Thursday morning!
BREAKING GAMES – BOOTH 2329
Expancity, designed by Alex Cutler and Matt Fantastic, is a gorgeous city building game composed of some wonderful and stackable building blocks that are placed on commercial and residential tiles. Scoring is accomplished via numerous ways including strategically placing buildings near common structures. Expancity was demoed at Dice Tower Con and was a huge hit. You can view Tom’s review here.
Rise of Tribes, designed by Brad Brooks, is a civilization game composed of area control and dice rolling mechanics complimented with variable player powers. Players will take control of a prehistoric tribe and scoring will depend on how well you gather resources, build villages, accomplish goals and more. You can view a detailed review of the game here.
Rise of Tribes, along with Expancity, are of excellent quality and gameplay seemed fun and engaging. You can head over to booth 2329 to demo either or pick up a copy.
PEGASUS SPIELE – BOOTH 2013
Talisman is not a game unfamiliar to gamers (the 4th edition of the game was released in 2007). Talisman: Legendary Tales, however, is a completely new take on the universe. Legendary Tales is designed by Michael Palm and Lukas Zach and is published right here in the Unites States (right in Indiana to be precise). It contains elements of bagbuilding, variable player powers and is cooperative.
“In Talisman: Legendary Tales, the players must work together as an adventure party to recover the five legendary Talismans that have been lost. During each adventure, the party endeavors to recover one of the lost Talismans. The adventures must be played in order. You may repeat adventures, and you may play one or more adventures in a game session.
Over the course of this story, you will travel across a wondrous land and have exciting adventures in which you must make important decisions and defend yourself against cruel enemies. As an adventure party, you succeed in each adventure once you have completed the final task and have recovered the Talisman. Be careful: You have only a limited amount of time!”
Legendary Tales sports some really nice artwork, by Falk Holzapfel, and is bound to entice by reinventing this 30+ year old game.
LEDER GAMES – BOOTH 3043
Leder Games really hit the map with the release of Vast. This year they look to top the game with another asymmetrical player-powers game where players will contend for control of an immense wilderness. Root is designed by Cole Wehrle and was first seen on Kickstarter. Available for purchase at booth 3043, Root can also be purchased along with an expansion – The Riverfolk expansion. The game takes advantage of multi-purpose cards and is the next step in asymmetric design. Made to engage the entire family, Root is sure to thrill and spark your imagination. It was one of my most-anticipated games at the con this year.
NAUVOO GAMES – BOOTH 2007
The Reckoners is a game based upon Brandon Sanderson’s book series of the same name. It is a cooperative game designed by Brett Sobol and Seth Van Orden. Nauvoo Games, publishers of the hit Stockpile, is offering three different version of the game at booth 2007 – one that includes painted miniatures and deluxe components. Reckoners
“The Reckoners plays like a challenging, ever-shifting puzzle. If you like co-operative games where you carefully manage resources, build powerful action combos, create tactical plans with your teammates, and work together to take down the bad guy while on the brink of defeat, then be sure to check out The Reckoners.”
The Reckoners was Tom’s #1 most anticipated game at GenCon and a full review can be found here.
TASTY MINSTREL GAMES – BOOTH 1337
(Trays not included in the game)
Although not debuting at GenCon, Pioneer Days, designed by Matthew Dunstan and Chris Marling, is an American west drafting and dice game centered around the ole’ Oregon Trail. With absolutely beautiful artwork by Guille Longhini and Sergi Marcet, Pioneer Days will have you drawing dice out of a bag to roll and then draft the to collect money, hire people, or take action all with hopes of earning the most points. You can view a full review of the game here and pick up a copy over at TMG’s booth at 1337. There’s plenty of other reasons to stop by their booth (Trade on the Tigris, Jungli-La, and more).
IELLO – BOOTH 129
Last, but certainly not least, is IELLO. As always, IELLO has quite a bit they are featuring this year although my favorite is Raids, designed by Matthew Dunstan and Brett J Gilbert. In Raids, a viking-themed game, players will sail to tiles that are laid – vying for control of them or going to collect runes or goods…along with other vikings to bolster your crew. The components are fantastic – gold painted bits and metal coins – along with fantastic artwork by Biboun. IELLO is bound to be busy so make sure to stop by there early!
There’s bound to be more. Please follow our Tweets and Instagram posts throughout the convention and keep an eye out for exciting news announcements through the week!
Homesteaders was one of the first games published by Tasty Minstrel Games in 2009, and it has been out of print for quite some time. TMG has published many games since then, and to celebrate its 10th Anniversary, it has launched a Kickstarter campaign for an upgraded Anniversary Edition of Homesteaders.
In Homesteaders, players are settlers in the Old West claiming land to develop into a town. This is an auction and resource management game in which players bid on the opportunity to build certain types of buildings, then spend resources to build those buildings of that type. Building provide players different abilities, income, and points. Players must manage their resources to win successful bids, pay for buildings, and sell for points or risk going into debt and losing points. The player who has the most points at the end of the game is the winner.
The production value of the original edition was already pretty high. The game included many wooden tokens to represent the workers, the player tokens, and six different types of resources. The anniversary edition will include the same high-quality components in addition to upgraded metal victory point tokens and silver coins.
Along with 10th Anniversary Edition Homesteaders comes the first expansion, Homesteaders: New Beginnings. The expansion adds a fifth player, events, new buildings, new auctions, and oversized wooden resource tokens that represent 5 resources of its type. Homesteaders: New Beginnings is compatible with the original edition of Homesteaders.
To learn more about the 10th Anniversary Edition Homesteaders and Homesteaders: New Beginnings, check out their Kickstarter campaign which runs through 11 May and is expected to deliver in January 2019.
Tasty Minstrel Games (TMG) has a lot of things going on right now including the release of a new game, Embark. Designed by Philip duBarry (known for Eminent Domain: Battle Cruisers and Revolution) and developed by Seth Jaffee, the game is set in the Harbour-fantasy universe (as you can see from the art style). It can be played by 2-5 players and the game lasts about 15 minutes per player.
In Embark you load various boats and send them to uninhabited islands to explore, colonize, and mine them. You’ll need to load your boats with voyagers who take on the roles of explorers, miners, and colonists, based on the berths you assign them in the boats. Boats only launch when they are full. There is also room for a Captain who can do any of the 3 jobs. Your opponent can also assign warriors to your boats who displace your voyagers and take over their job. The game ends after six rounds of assigning voyagers and launching boats. The victor is the player with the most points. To add some spice to the game there are Talent cards, which are drafted at the beginning of the game, which gives each player a unique ability throughout the game. A release date has not yet been set.
In other TMG news, the Deluxe Gentes Kickstarter campaign was a huge success and they’ve opened up late pledges up until April 15th.
They’ve also updated their approximate game availability for March and April:
Gentres is a civilization game for 2-4 players and will last around 90 minutes. In this game, players take the role of an ancient people who are attempting to develop their society by building monuments and colonizing or founding new cities in the Mediterranean sea.
The game lasts 6 rounds with each round consisting of two phases. During the Heyday phase, players will carry out their actions using two precious commodities (coins and time). The more you spread out the time tokens, the fewer actions you can perform. However if you combine time tokens, you can carry out more actions this round but fewer next round. Once all players pass, the Decline phase begins which is where clean-up and setup for the next round takes place.
Tasty Minstrel Games has listed the following upgrades to Gentes for the Deluxified™ treatment over the retail edition: A Foil-Stamped box, Box Sleeve, 6 Oversized Silkscreened Meeples, 24 Normal-sized Silkscreened Meeples, 89 Metal Coins, 28 Stickered Wood Action Tokens, 20 Silk Silkscreened Lock Tokens, 60 Silkscreened Wood Hourglass Tokens, 4 Dual-layered Player Boards, and 4 Custom-shaped Score Tokens.
The Gentes campaign is running until February 17, 2018 and has already met the minimum level for funding. A pledge of $45 will get you the Standard edition while a pledge of $59 will get you the Deluxified™ English Edition. A pledge of $60 will get you the Deluxified™ Edition in either Dutch, French, German, Italian, or Polish. Please check out the campaign page for more details on shipping costs.
Your empire has grown vast and powerful, reaching beyond every edge of the galaxy. Now you must ensure the ties that bind your planets do not falter. Assert your dominance in the political arena. Use your clout to advance your agendas. As your borders expand farther and farther, do not let the core of your empire fall into oblivion!
The Oblivion expansion focuses on the political aspect of having to run a broad space empire. The expansion adds a new politics role and a set of global agendas that will affect all the players in the game. The new expansion doesn’t affect player count or time, with the game still playing in 45-60 minutes for 2-5 players aged 14 and up. A copy of the base game is required to play this expansion.
Downfall is the latest game being published by Tasty Minstrel Games as well as the latest in their line of Deluxified games. Downfall is a 4X game where you are trying to survive in the post apocalyptic wasteland that is the year 2213 where nearly all of the planet’s population has died. You will have to gather resources, build bunkers and airships, combat other factions, and explore the wasteland in order to survive. Actions in this game will be done through card drafting and each card has a major action and a minor action, with major actions being things like gather, build, command, research, and war.
Gather and build are pretty self explanatory, command is how you will get your people around the board, research improves your major actions with technology cards, and war initiates battles between groups. You will be doing these actions, taking over parts of the board, gathering resources for building or feeding your people, and trying to keep the radiation at bay in order to score points. Each round has you drawing event cards with differing effects, and from time to time you will draw winter cards which will have negative effects as well as move the game timer along. Once the timer reaches the end you will total up your points and to see who is the winner.
As per the other deluxified Kickstarters you have two options, the retail version or the deluxified version. In the deluxified version you get things like wooden bits instead of punchboards, minis for the your leaders and airships, metal radiation tokens, and bigger hexes to make things easier to move around. The long and short of it is you will be getting a blinged out game for an increased price. You can check out more information, and back for one of the two versions, on the Kickstarter page.
The International Gamers Awards have been going on since the year 2000, celebrating and recognizing gaming a truly global scale by having a committee of judges from all around the world. Each year they vote for the best game within the General Strategy category, which is split into two sub-categories: Multiplayer and 2-Player. 2017’s finalists have been announced and it’s immediately noticeable that this year’s competition is fierce. So without further ado, the nominees are: