tasty minstrel games

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, designed by Stephen Risthaus, is being Kickstarted now by Tasty Minstrel Games and will be getting the Deluxified™ treatment.

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.

The award-winning deck-building civilization game Eminent Domain is about to expand again with the Eminent Domain: Oblivion expansion by original Eminent Domain designer Seth Jaffee.

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.

Tasty Minstrel Games is releasing Eminent Domain: Oblivion early December 2017.

Contents of the box will include:

  • Rule Booklet
  • Game Board
  • 42 Tokens
  • 7 Tiles
  • 87 Cards
  • Cloth Bag

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:

General Strategy Games – Multiplayer nominees

A Feast for Odin
Designer: Uwe Rosenberg
Publisher: Feuerland Spiele

Century: Spice Road
Designer: Emerson Matsuuchi
Publisher: Plan B Games

First Class
Designers: Helmut Ohley
Publisher: Hans im Glück

Gloomhaven
Designer: Isaac Childress
Publisher: Cephalofair Games

Great Western Trail
Designer: Alexander Pfister
Publishers: eggertspiele

Key to the City: London
Designers: Sebastian Bleasdale and Richard Breese
Publisher: R&D Games

Lorenzo il Magnifico
Designers: Flaminia Brasini and Virginio Gigli and Simone Luciani
Publisher: Cranio Creations

Magic Maze
Designer: Kasper Lapp
Publisher: Sit Down!

Scythe
Designer: Jamey Stegmaier
Publisher: Stonemaier Games

Image from the English 2nd Printing

Terraforming Mars
Designer: Jacob Fryxelius
Publisher: Fryx Games / Stonemaier Games

The Colonists
Designer Tim Puls
Publisher: Lookout Games

Ulm
Designer: Günter Burkhardt
Publisher: HUCH!

Yokohama
Designer: Hisashi Hayashi
Publisher: OZAKU Brand

General Strategy Games – 2-Player nominees

 

Arkham Horror: The Card Game
Designers: Nate French and Matthew Newman
Publisher: Fantasy Flight Games

Caverna: Cave vs. Cave
Designer: Uwe Rosenberg
Publisher: Lookout Games

 

Holmes: Sherlock & Mycroft
Designer: Diego Ibanez
Publisher: Devir

Santorini
Designer: Gordon Hamilton
Publisher: Roxley

Star Wars: Destiny
Designers: Corey Konieczka and Lukas Litzsinger
Publisher: Fantasy Flight Games

After an excellent Dice Tower Con, it’s time to get back into the swing of things with another Wallet Kickers post.

First is a nice addition to any gamer’s wall, and that is Scott King’s Gaming Calendar for 2018.  On this calendar you will be able to choose a standard calendar with pre-selected pictures, or a custom calendar where you get to pick your own pictures and add your own holidays.  In the standard calendar you will get twelve stunning pictures taken by the talented Scott King to look  at throughout the year of games like Sagrada, Tiny Epic Quest, and Junk Art.  Selecting the custom calendar allows you to pick from nearly 200 photos he has taken over the years of many poular games and gaming components.  Personally I already have the 2017 edition hanging on my wall and I am looking forward to one being there in 2018 as well.  Check out the Kickstarter today.

Next is a game ending in the next week and that is Wendake.  In Wendake you are the chief of a native american tribe, trying to build up your tribe to be the best in all aspects.  Actions are taken by a unique 3×3 grid of tiles where you activate a row, column, or diagonal, taking all the actions in that line.  After you take actions you will flip the tiles over, giving a different action as well as showing what tiles have been used.  This grid will be constantly cycling, and over the course of the game you will get new actions to slot into the grid allowing you to do more.  Some of the actions include movement, harvesting, fishing, hunting, placing out new workers and canoes, and even mask ceremony cards which act as a set collecting aspect to the game.  At the end you score for the lowest position on the two pairs of “wampum” tracks, and whoever has the highest combined score wins.  To check out this great looking game, head on over to the Kickstarter page.

After that is Legendary Creatures, a deck building type game, with no relation to the Legendary system, where you are competing for renown in four different realms.  In this game you will be drawing and playing creature cards to perform different actions.  The order you play cards and which cards you play and which you send out on expeditions makes a difference and makes for lots of great choices.  You will also get the chance to add new cards into your deck, in typical deck building style, giving you more options and combinations to toy with.  Then there are spells, amulets, gifts, and landmarks which give you extra bonuses and you have too many combinations to count.  At the end your score will be your position on the four realm tracks as well as any points you earned throughout the game, most points is the winner.  You can head over to the Kickstarter page to find out more and pledge for a copy.

Following that we have TMG’s latest deluxified game, Crusaders, Thy Will be Done, a roundel action type game about crusaders in the middle ages trying to get the most influence.  In the game you have a roundel of 6 actions and actions tokens on each one.  When you pick an action, you get as many action points of that action based on the number of tokens on that wedge.  Once you finish the action you will distribute the tokens in a mancala like fashion around the circle.  Different actions let you building buildings, muster troops, fight the enemies on the board, travel around the board, or just gain influence.  Plus, as you build more buildings you uncover spots on your player board, you will gain the bonuses depicted on the board, giving you some extra motivation to build them.  There are also individual player powers and ways to upgrade you roundel to make things more interesting.  So if this crusade themed game sounds interesting to you, check out the Kickstarter today.

Next is the latest in the tactical card combat category of games, similar to Summoner Wars, called Stonebound Saga.  This game features absolutely stunning artwork, and the player cards seem to be designed to show off as much of it as possible while giving you needed info.  In the game you will be controlling different characters, each with their own specific set of moves and abilities powered by speaking stones.  You will be moving your character around on the board, and launching attacks in the hope of eliminating the other team.  There are also 7 different classes you can chose from which have different ways of playing, from healers, to bards, to powerful warriors and even rangers.  Needless to say, if you enjoy games like Summoner Wars, this game deserves a second look for sure, check out their Kickstarter page.

Next to last we have the latest game from Isaac Childres on Kickstarter, and that is Founders of Gloomhaven.  Isaac’s previous game, Gloomhaven, has positively exploded and is an adventure game that has legacy elements as well as being just a great game.  So you might be surprised to find that he has gone a different direction with this game and has created a tile laying euro game about building the city of Gloomhaven.  In this game you will be working to build up your prestige so that when the city is finished, you are the most prestigious race of them all.  But, lest you think this is a purely competitive game, there are actually elements of the game that require cooperation to achieve.  Each race has a certain element they produce, but in order to create the more advanced resources, you have to combine with other races, meaning you won’t be able to go it alone.  Add in a myriad of different action cards to choose from and a voting system to determine which point scoring buildings get added, and you have a euro style game with a Gloomhaven theme and feel.  Check out the Kickstarter today to pledge for you copy.

Lastly we have a lightning quick campaign, and that is Steve Jackson Games’ Munchkin Special Delivery.  This box is another in the ever growing line of curated boxes that you blindly buy, and find out the contents on arrival.  One difference from the others is that this is just for one box, not a subscription, and you at least know it will contain the Munchkin base game.  Other things contained in the box include several different expansions and/or boosters, Munchkin accessories, a special rule printed in the box, and even Steve Jackson’s signature (while supplies last).  So if you want to gift Munchkin, or want to jump into the game with some hand picked extras, give this Kickstarter a look before it ends on the 16th of July.

Here we are again, time to highlight a couple of Kickstarters we found this week.

First on the list is a game from The Creativity Hub called Untold: Adventures Await.  This is an RPG, story telling hybrid game that puts to use the many different sets of Rory Story Cubes that have been released to date.  It’s described as throwing yourself into your favorite TV series, but instead of just watching you are now creating the story that unfolds.  This is especially true because several dice sets have been released that are based on popular television IPs like Batman, Scooby Doo, and Doctor Who.  Whichever set of Rory Story Cubes you use will give you the framework to your story, and the game will guide you through the rest from the danger appearing to the final showdown.  Play will take about 60 minutes and you can reuse your created characters in later games, akin to continuing your TV series.  So if this sounds interesting to you, head on over to the Kickstarter page.

Next is a game getting an art overhaul and deluxified courtesy of TMG called The Flow of History.  This is a bidding/auction style card game where you are trying to build the best civilization out of them all.  In the game you will be buying and playing cards from 5 different ages, with each card having it’s own special ability.  Some cards give you icons, others give you resources based on those icons, and so on.  The game ends when the card “The Future” shows up in the market or is acquired directly, at that point you count up culture icons, each being worth a point, and any end game scoring bonuses to determine the winner.  What makes this version deluxe compared to the retail is the larger box, molded plastic tray, folding market board, and metal resource tokens.  So if a card based civilization game interests you, or you want a deluxe version of the game, check out the Kickstarter page.

Finally we have Archmage Origins, the latest card game from SolarFlare Games.  In the game you are battling your follow mages in an effort to collect the strongest army and be crowned the archmage of the realm.  To do that you will use a similar board setup and play style to that of a popular two player game, Targi.  In the game you will set out a 4×4 grid of face down monster cards, each having different strengths and abilities.  On your turn you can peak at a card to see what monster is there, next you have the option to swap it with another card, and then you play one of your mage cards around the edge of the board.  After everyone’s mage cards have been played, all the cards flip over and each monster card is resolved, totaling the value of mage cards in the column and row it occupies.  Whoever has the higher value gets to add the card to their army, and once all the cards have been given out, the highest valued army wins.  With some good looking art, simple and quick gameplay, this light filler game is worth a look.  Check out their Kickstarter page today, which also includes a tease to the next game in the same universe.

Lots of games to go through so lets get right to it, first on the list is a new creation from Seth Jaffe and Tasty Minstrel Games called Crusaders.  The object of the game is to spread the influence of your Order far and wide before the king begins to fear your power, and disbands them all, ending the game.  You will accomplish different actions through your own personal rondel of different actions and action cubes you move using a mancala mechanic.  Throughout the game you will be upgrading the spaces on your board, building buildings, and doing all you can to spread your influence.  Be the greatest order of them all before their collapse, and you will be the winner.  Look for this game in September of this year.

Next from TMG is an import in the form of Okey Dokey from famed designer Hisashi Hayashi.  This is a cooperative game of animals trying to put on a show, a music show.  Each player will have a hand of cards and they need to play these cards down in a 5×10 grid.  The difficulty comes from the placement restrictions and the fact your can’t tell anyone what you have, but you can drop hints.  Look for this small game on store shelves in September.

Next is the reprint of the train stock market game, American Rails.  In American Rails you are a wealthy capitalist managing a portfolio of stocks and bonds in six different in game rail companies.  You will be negotiating, trading, and expanding these companies in order to gain the most money.  Whoever is richest at the end will be the winner.  This reprint should be hitting stores in May of this year.

Also coming in May from Capstone Games is the latest edition of Xanadu, a highly interactive card game.  Like a lot of games the object is to gain the most money, but to do that you need to sell buildings.  But to build those buildings you need to send workers to other buildings to gain resources, which you can do on your own cards or your opponents.  You can even sabotage your opponents, making this a rather cutthroat game.

From Z-Man Games we have a new game announced called Valletta that will be coming out in July.  In the game you are building a town in the baroque era, utilizing a deck building mechanic to get you resources and perform actions.  In this game you don’t buy new cards, you build new buildings and you will get new cards that strengthen your deck, pushing you closer to victory.  But like all good deck building type games, at some point you have to turn from resource generating to turning the resources into the points needed to win.  Check out the preview on Z-man’s site to find out more about this new game.

Next is a game coming out very soon, and that is Oktoberfest from Rio Grande Games.  This is a card game all about serving beer to thirsty patrons during Oktoberfest.  There are twelve tents in the game and you will be playing down patrons in those tents trying to buy up the right beer out of the 6 available.  When a tent closes the most recent beer bought there will score, giving the most points to the majority holder of that beer.  All twelve tents will never be closed so you have to time things right to reap the most points and emerge the winner.

Coming soon from Pandasaurus Games we have the latest social deduction game called Red Scare.  This is all about the FBI exposing the communists out to bring down our way of life.  You will have to investigate and accuse those you know and expose their darkest secrets, and maybe you have some secrets of your own!  Look for this game to come out in September of this year.

Finally, also from Pandasaurus Games, is the trick-taking style card game called King’s Life.  In this game the king has a hard life, and so to keep himself from going nuts he alternates his days of royal duties with days of completely goofing off.  It’s your job as part of his court to make sure he is able to both fulfill his duties, and party hard.  Not much else has been said about this game, so we will have to wait for more info as the September release date approaches.

Game Brewer and TMG have started a Kickstarter Campaign to create a european edition of their worker placement game Chimera Station, which completed a successful Kickstarter in October. In Chimera Station, 2-4 players must build a space station in 5 rounds using their alien workers. During a round, players place workers for actions as normal, but can then splice pieces onto their workers, making them more efficient. At the end of the round, workers must be fed. Workers with brains spliced in add points when placed, tentacles gain workers extra resources, claws let you push other workers out of spaces, and  leaves allow workers to feed themselves. Game Brewer is using a BGG poll to decide which languages will be included in the new edition.

The Kickstarter for Chimera Station – Euro Edition continues through April 27, and is expected to deliver in September 2017.