tom vasel

Dice Tower News has previously reported about a board game television show in production- namely Above Board, created by actor/producer/director Travis Oates. The show will combine intelligent journalistic humor (think Daily Show or Last Week Tonight) with sketch comedy and features all the inside jokes and strange personalities that make our industry so special. Segments of the show are filmed with a live studio audience, and the Dice Tower community (that’s you, guys) is being given advance notice to become a part of history. If you are going to be in the Los Angeles area on May 1-3, you can be part of the audience for the next 6 episodes of Above Board. Just to sweeten the pot a bit, there will be game giveaways, food and general frivolity. Rumor has it that our own Tom Vasel may be present, as well as other surprise guests..

All the details are in the call for audience members below, so make sure to hit that phone hotline – I’m sure the show will fill up soon.

Board game enthusiasts rejoice, for we will likely have a main stream television show all to our own. Producer/Director/Actor Travis Oates has been sneaking around behind the scenes for the past 9 months creating a television series called Above Board, targeted to hit one of the popular streaming services we all love so well. According to Travis (who, by the way, is one of the most fascinating people I have ever met), the show has elements of the popular car show Top Gear, combining real love of board games with comedic parody, and Daily Show type tongue-in-cheek interviews. Already included in the show are board game designers Jamey Stegmaier, Stefan Feld, and Dr. Reiner Knizia, companies like Broken Token, publishers Michael Coe of Gamelyn Games and Paul Saxberg from Roxely Game Laboratories. But wait, there’s more – celebrity guests, and a regular segment by our own Tom Vasel. Six episodes are under construction now, hopefully with many more planned. I was lucky enough to screen some clips, and found the humor witty and sarcastic without dumbing down the content. Keep an eye out for this exciting initial foray of our hobby into mainstream media.

Brain Games ran a contest from October 1st, 2018 to January 15th, 2019 where contestants could submit a trickshot video for ICECOOL to win a two-person trip to visit real penguins in Antarctica.  The contest received 262 entries from 27 territories, with South Korea submitting the most entries with 86 followed by USA with 65 entries.  Serving on the global judge’s panel was Dice Tower’s own Tom Vasel, Joachim Ulbrich (Amigo Spiele CEO), and Egils Grasmanis (Brain Games CEO).  There were some amazing submissions and each region had their own assortment of prizes.  The grand prize-winning contestant submitted a skillful and creative musical trickshot. Check out the winning video and all the other submissions at https://www.icecoolantarctica.com/ .

2019 marks the 15th season for The Dice Tower and it’s network of gaming reviews, news, and convention coverage. The Dice Tower has grown each year to bring more content at increasing quality, but only due to the generosity of you – all of our viewers and readers!  It is because of you that we are able to do what we love and give as much as we can back to the community. So it is once again time that we humbly ask for your support with the 2019 fundraising campaign.

Like the previous campaigns, this fundraiser is full of incentives ranging from gaming gear, exclusive Dice Tower products, and promos. There are decals, pins, coasters, tokens, card sleeves, component storage bins, games bags, dice pouches, and of course, dice towers.  Returning in the fundraiser are dice, including a metal pair, with the Dice Tower logo. Promos for some of the hottest games of 2017 including Champions of Midgard: Valhalla, Bunny Kingdom, Onitama, Time of Legends:Joan of Arc, Fireball Island, Alien Artifacts, Between Two Castles of Mad King Ludwig, Flamme Rouge, Spyfall, Suburbia, Roll Player, and so much more!

Video credits, custom voicemails, and even a custom video just for you are a couple of the unique perks to pledge.  There is even an opportunity to share a meal with the Dice Tower crew at one of the conventions or to come spend a day of gaming at with the Dice Tower crew at Mac & Cheese, a gaming cafe.

There is always the option to donate however much you want regardless of perks, as any and all support is greatly appreciated. If you’ve ever benefited from a review, preview, top 10 list, news article, or convention coverage, please consider supporting this Kickstarter campaign. On behalf of all of us in the Dice Tower Network, we value your many years of viewership and patronage, and we hope to continue serving you great content in the years to come. Thank you!

Pitchcar is a very popular dexterity game and one of Tom Vasel’s favorite, so much so that he has a “World Championship” every year at Dice Tower Con.  There have been several expansions for the game already adding in things like long straight aways, ramps, hazards, race track crossings, and more.  But they haven’t been able to add one thing to the game yet, and that is a full 360 degree loop, that is, until now.  Pitchcar Expansion #7 finally brings in the loop, using a specially made flexible material that allows not only standard loops, but loops that turn 90 degree, loops that come back in the same direction you went in, and even a corkscrew.  This will add a whole new dimension to your Pitchcar races so you will want to grab it while you can.

A pledge for a single loop will run you $52 plus shipping, but order two and you get a discount with the pair only costing $99 plus shipping.  You also have the option to add on some other items like additional cars, slide powder to reduce track friction, 1 meter of foam rail, and the epsilon pieces.  The foam rail is special because it is sticky on one side and is meant to be put anywhere on the track, allowing for you to customize your guardrails for even more variability.  And the epsilon pieces add in yet another feature to the track, and that is the ability to split the track into two and then merge it back into one.  So if you want even more crazy combos out of your Pitchcar set, check out this Kickstarter today.

Here’s your chance to own and play what Tom Vasel has been calling one of his favorite games of all time. Project: ELITE is getting the deluxe CMON treatment with a completely revamped production.

Now live on Kickstarter,

Project: ELITE is a fast-paced cooperative board game for 1 to 6 players who take on the role of members of an ELITE squad recruited to stop an invading alien force. Featuring the frantic real-time action of the critically-acclaimed original this edition re-imagines Project: ELITE with vivid new art and amazing miniatures. In each Mission, you will have rounds of 2 minutes before the window of operations closes and time runs out!

Want to see it in action before committing? Tom, Zee, and Sam have already posted a few live play-throughs of the new CMON version of the game. After you check those videos out, head over to the Kickstarter page to learn more about CMON’s latest big box Kickstarter and see if you and your ELITE squad has what it takes to stop the alien invasion.

That’s right folks, the Dice Tower Live Gaming Marathon has officially launched and will going on until 2pm on Friday the 12th.  You will be able to watch the Dice Tower crew with special guests play through a whole bunch of different games into and out of the wee hours of the morning.  Some of the highlights include Grimm ForestNear and Far, Pie Town and more.  But even more amazing is that they will be doing contests live throughout the marathon, but you have to be watching because the contest will be announced, and concluded within the live stream.  So pull up a chair and have fun watching ‘da crew play all the latest and fun games. (Click here for a full list of links)!

2018 marks the 14th season for The Dice Tower and it’s network of gaming reviews, news, and convention coverage. The Dice Tower, and Dice Tower News by extension, has grown each year to bring more content at increasing quality, but only due to the generosity of you – all of our viewers and readers!  It is because of you that we are able to do what we love and give as much as we can back to the community. So it is once again time that we humbly ask for your support with the 2018 fundraising campaign.

Of course, as with years past, the campaign provides a ton of incentives in the form of gaming gear, promos, and exclusives! There are decals, bumper stickers, and coasters of the new caricatures, and more dice than ever including a metal pair with the logo. Promos for some of the hottest games of 2017 including Downforce, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Aeon’s End, Terraforming Mars, Dragon Castle, Alien Artifacts, Dinosaur Island, and so much more! There are also excellent stretch goals that bring more content from the crew, like more top 100 videos, live playthroughs, and also the potential for a twitch channel for live-streaming.

There is always the option to donate however much you want regardless of perks, as any and all support is greatly appreciated. If you’ve ever benefited from a review, preview, top 10 list, news article, or convention coverage, please consider supporting this Kickstarter campaign. On behalf of all of us in the Dice Tower Network, we value your many years of viewership and patronage, and we hope to continue serving you great content in the years to come. Thank you!

First in our lineup is the dungeon crawl game from Greenbrier Games called Folklore: The Affliction.  This is an RPG style board game where you are playing characters trying to investigate and drive back the evil that is gripping the land.  The game is themed around the horror genre so you will be fighting things like vampires, werewolves, ghosts, and more.  In an interesting twist for this game, if you are killed you will become a ghost yourself, being able to continue with the party and attack enemies from beyond the grave.  The scale of the game is on two levels, with movement between locations being done on a map board with one pawn denoting the whole group.  Then when you arrive at a location it will zoom in to all of your characters being on another board representing the location for you to explore and fight monsters on.  The game comes packaged with a campaign broken up into smaller chapters that can be played in one sitting, allowing you to tailor the game length to your desires.  Look for this horror dungeon crawl on store shelves next month.

Coming later this month is a new game from Breaking Games called Sparkle*Kitty, a quick card game that turns the helpless princess trope on it’s head.  In the game you each play a different princess trying to escape from the “Cursed “No Cursing” tower“.  Not much else has been released about the game other then it being released later this month, and that the art is fabulous.  So keep an eye out for the game and hopefully it’s good.

Keeping with the light-hearted theme we have the next release from North Star Games, Happy Salmon Blue Fish.  Those hoping for an expansion to this loud and crazy party game will be a bit disappointed, but if you wanted more players in a single game then look no further.  Happy Salmon Blue Fish contains all the same cards and components as the original, only this time the player colors are different than those contained in the original green fish edition of the game.  This makes it easy to ramp the player count all the way up to 12, making for a game that is even louder and crazier than before.  So if you want to have more players, or just prefer the blue color, look for this edition on store shelves in September.

Wizkids has announced their latest game, and it is the generically named Empires, a new trading and negotiation type game.  In Empires, 2 to 10 players will try to expand their kingdom across the land by acquiring support.  To get support “by supplying your people with goods; goods are produced when your people work in your territories.  Players can gain people, territories, goods, and supporters by winning wars. Wars will be won by the armies raised by paying gold. Gold can be earned by winning wars and by selling goods.”  So as you can see there is a lot of shuffling around of resources, but you won’t always have all the resources you need, that’s where the trading comes in.  You are allowed to trade anything and everything between players, goods, player powers, people, territories, whatever you have so that you can achieve your goal.  So if this kind of game intrigues you, look for it on store shelves in October of this year.

Next we have something that is exciting for Tom Vasel, and that is the impending release of the next game in the Dice Tower Essentials line, Critical Mass.  The game used to be known as Starborne, and is a two player card battle game with some deck building.  Each player will pick their mech, and each mech comes with it’s own unique starting deck of cards.  From there you will play cards against each other attacking, defending, and upgrading.  Attacking and defending as self explanatory, and the upgrading action is what allows you to get more cards into your deck.  However, as you play more cards you will start to run out, and you don’t get cards back until you do a reload action.  As you take hits you will lose armor, lose too much armor and your core becomes vulnerable, allowing your opponent to stun you for a turn.  The winner will be the one who destroys all the armor on their opponent’s mech first.  Look for this game on the shelves of your FLGS in November.

Finally we have two new games coming from Ankama games later this year in Dino Party and Stellium.  Dino Party is a party game at the end of the age of dinosaurs, where you and your friends are trying to grow your herd and get to the protected spaces.  But with disasters happening all around you, will you be able to make it?  This quick party game will be released next month.

Stellium is a new abstract game where you are creators of the universe in the midst of creating that universe.  On a turn you will draw a colorful marble from a bag and place it on the board, aiming to arrange the marbles in specific ways to satisfy contracts.  But since this is being done by everyone on the same board, you have to be careful not to setup your opponent to score instead of you.  An additional layer of strategy is added with variable player powers, allowing you to place a marble and then manipulate them in different ways.  Look for this game to be released in October of this year.

GrandCon is in it’s 5th year and will be coming to Grand Rapids, MI in September.  They will be continuing their tradition of lots of gaming space, excellent guests and a whole slew of vendors for you to shop at.  Some of the notable guests at the convention are The Dice Tower’s own Tom Vasel and Zee Garcia, illustrators Beth Sorbel and Corinna Roberts, game designers Richard Launius and Isaac Childres, and many more.  The vendor list so far is also nothing to sneeze at with names like Broken Token, Renegade Games, and Smirk and Dagger, plus others both big and small.  So if you are in the Michigan area, or any area really, and want to attend, then head on over to their website to register.  And as a bonus, people who register before June 30th are also entered into a drawing to win a bag of goodies which includes:

  • A Dungeon Roll Bundle by Tasty Minstrel Games
  • A Copy of Steam Works by Tasty Minstrel Games
  • An Elderwood Academy wooden dice tray carrier by Elderwood Academy
  • A Vault of Midnight $25 Gift Card
  • An Autographed Copy of Star Wars Rogue One by Matt Forbeck
  • A GrandCon 2017 T-Shirt

SO what are you waiting for?  Register today!