trains

The British Isles and, in particular, Wales, is home to some of the richest railway history in the world.  In the early 1800’s smaller narrow gauge railways were carved out of the rocky hills and mountains, carrying slate and workers through the Welsh countryside.  Snowdonia, named after a mountainous region in northwestern Wales, was first released in 2012.

Described as a lighter but interesting worker placement game, players seek to blast, excavate and build sites and structures and lay track for railways.  The first scenario, set in Wales, was included in the original game.  The deluxe version will include all expansions and scenarios to date, 12 scenarios in all with different locations.  The new Deluxe Master Set will also include:

  • A larger deluxe board
  • New, larger box
  • Custom double decker insert
  • One brand new scenario, along with all those that were previously released
  • 365 custom wooden components
  • Several promo cards featuring unique trains and other items and people
  • Large full colour scoring pad
  • Cloth bag

Not familiar with the game?  Click here and you’ll be up to speed before you can say Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch!  This deluxe version will be on Kickstarter for the next 23 days.

While the Green Horde continues to roam the countryside, gobbling up everything in it’s wake, lets see some other games on Kickstarter worthy of a second look.

First up is a game from Pandasaurus Games and Hisashi Hiyashi, designer of Yokohama and Trains, called Minerva.  Minerva is being called a brain burning tile laying game where the location of the tiles being placed has as much importance as the tiles themselves.  The reason for this is that each tile has an ability, but the abilities on the tiles aren’t triggered when they are placed in your tableau.  It isn’t until you put down a residence tile that they are triggered, and then it’s only the tiles in that row.  This is how you will gain resources, buy buildings, and eventually be able to purchase the temples to score big VP bonuses at the end.  Needless to say this game has a lot of tough decisions going as you determine how to build your tiled engine so that you can reap the most victory points.  Check out the Kickstarter today if this sounds like something you want to try.

Not enough Cthulhu in your life?  Do you think Carcassonne is too boring just building out a normal city?  Well Carcosa is here to answer the call and give you your cthulhu based Carcassonne game.  And as you can probably guess, this game plays much like the quintessential classic where you are drawing tiles and placing tiles, and then placing your cultists to claim majorities on different features.  Some differences come in the form of hidden information and the effects tiles can have when fully revealed.  On your turn you will place a tile you drew and looked at, but that tile will be face down, which for most tiles doesn’t change anything.  But, there are some tiles with a yellow mark on them, and these are the tiles which will have special effects when they are revealed, causing events like devouring several cultists on the board.  Plus with your cultists going mad and needing to recover whenever they score, you have a very different feeling game to normal Carcassonne.  Check out the Kickstarter today, and try to keep your sanity.

Next is a game which takes the Greek gods of old and gives them a high tech make-over for an interesting new take on territory control, called Lords of Hellas. Lords of Hellas’ look is very eye catching, taking mythological characters like Hercules, Helena, and the Minotaur and giving them a technology upgrade.  This also carries over into the huge monuments in the game of various Greek gods like Zeus, Hermes, and Athena, each standing nearly 5″ tall when fully built.  Gameplay for the game is territory control, but that alone would be boring, so changes and tweaks have been made to keep things fresh and new.  Multi-use cards give you tough choices in a game with few resources, do you play them to help in battle or for their resources?  Multiple end game conditions make it so that if you are losing on one front, you might still be able to win on another.  The heroes of each army also bring asymmetry to the game with different abilities and start conditions, plus you can upgrade your hero throughout the game making them even better.  Overall there are lots of things to like about this game, so check out their Kickstarter page to see everything it has to offer.

Finally we have something that is half game, half teaching tool called Turing Tumble, a name that plays on the famous Turing Test which tests for artificial intelligence.  The board is vertical with lots of pegs on it for the placement of different gears, flippers, switches, as well as launchers and catchers for two sets of colored marbles.  As you place the pieces on the board, you can get the board to sort or combine the colored marbles in predictable ways or do other functions.  It can even be taken as far as creating a calculator for doing math, making this board a mechanical computer that kids will have fun playing with.  The game aspect of the Turing Tumble comes from the included comic book which has you following the adventures Alia, a space engineer, as she tries to escape from a deserted planet.  The puzzles in the game start out easy and get harder as they go along, teaching your kinds the basics of computers and helping them build more complex sequences.  If this sounds as interesting to you as it does to me, head on over to their Kickstarter page.

AEG is ramping up for the new year with a couple new releases, one of which will either make you happy or make you very upset.  And that polarizing release is the Destination Fun Combo Pack with expansions for Planes, Trains, and Automobiles all in one box.  This will be great for those that own all three games because you will get content to expand the games all at once, but those of us who don’t own all three, this is putting a lot of content we don’t need into a single box.  This issue is compounded by an MSRP that is significantly higher than the other games, so hopefully AEG will see the light and split the box later.  Until then, look for this on store shelves in March.

Next is a competitive disc flicking game called Light and Dark, where you are two druids trying to either turn everything dark, or turn everything light.  Game setup will have you placing druids and torches all around the table and then you will be flicking your discs around and playing cards in an effort to convert everyone to your side.  The game sounds light-hearted and fun, so look for it on store shelves in January.

Next is a game from Kickstarter called The Captain is Dead, where you are a star-ship crew trying to fight off an attack after your heroic leader was killed.  Everyone will be playing a different character with different strengths and weaknesses as you run around fixing the ship and fending off the invaders.  Look for this on store shelves in February, just don’t be wearing a red shirt.

Last is a party game from Hobby World called Think it Up, where the winner will not be the most knowledgeable, but the one who could think the fastest.  In the game you will flip over a letter card and a topic card, and from those two cards you have one minute to blurt out the answer, if you are the fastest you get points.  After a set number of rounds the person with the most points is the winner.  Look for this quick thinking party game on store shelves in February.

terra nova games logo

Terra Nova Games has just announced their next game, Trick of the Rails, which will be designed by Hisashi Hayashi who is known for games like Trains, Sail to India, Lost Legacy, Rolling Japan, and String Railway.  Trick of the Rails will be a mashup of 18XX style portfolio management and trick taking and will be played in alternating rounds of stock and operations.  In the stock round players will play the trick taking part and play down stock cards and the ones that you obtain become shares in that company.  Then in the operations round those shares allow you to build out the route network of that company, thus making it more valuable.  But you have to be careful, while the shares are worth money the trains cost money, so building out your routes carelessly could cost you more than you make.  At the end of the game the winner is simply a matter of finding out who has the most value in their portfolio.

The game will be launched on Kickstarter in the near future, although no hard date is given, and if you are attending any of the following events you can see the folks at Terra Nova Games for a demo.

  • ACD Games Day
  • Denver Comic Con
  • Origins Game Fair
  • Gen Con
  • BGG.Con

See below for the full press release.

Terra Nova Games Announces “TRICK OF THE RAILS” by Hisashi Hayashi

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Denver, CO – April 26, 2016

Terra Nova Games is proud to announce their fourth game release, Trick of the Rails, designed by Hisashi Hayashi. Trick of the Rails, based on the rise of the American railway period, is a unique card game combining 18XX-like portfolio management and trick-taking. Some of Hisashi’s other notable designs are Trains, Sail to India, Lost Legacy, Rolling Japan, and String Railway.

In Trick of the Rails, players collect stock certificates and make the companies more valuable by laying the rail network. The game alternates between stock rounds and operating rounds. In stock rounds, the cards played become shares for the players. In operating rounds, the cards played become track for the companies. The companies get trains, which determine how many track cards they can count for their profit (the trains have costs as well, which may lead to companies not making any profit at all) and in the end, players simply count the value of their shares and highest value wins.

Terra Nova Games is extremely excited to work with Okazu and Japon Brand, and they plan to overhaul the art and graphic design when they bring the English version of this license to the American market.

Trick of the Rails will be launching on Kickstarter soon and will be available for demonstration at these upcoming events:

  • ACD Games Day
  • Denver Comic Con
  • Origins Game Fair
  • Gen Con
  • BGG.Con

About Terra Nova Games:

Based in Austin, TX and Denver, CO, Terra Nova Games is a boardgame design and publishing company that was established in February of 2013 as an outlet to share their passion for the hobby with others. Terra Nova Games strives to bring people together in person, to use games as a means of socializing and strategizing around a table of friends. They’ve had three successful Kickstarter campaigns for their previous releases, “Far Space Foundry”, “Ophir”, and “Guile”.

Contact: 
Justin Schaffer, President
justin@terranovagames.com
www.terranovagames.com

steam 5

Steam, from Martin Wallace and Mayfair Games, is already chock full of expansion content and getting even more in the form of Map Expansion 5: Boxcar.  This release will feature two new maps – India and South East US – as well as an assortment of mini-expansions that can be added to other Steam maps.  From the press release:

New Action Tiles can be added to your games to change the dynamic of previous maps – The Surveyor, The Midnight Express, The Local Payoff, & Corporate Charity. The Gray Market Goods expansion adds a level of mystery to your goods supply and creates dual goods.

We’ve also included the previous mini-expansions that were only found as promos: Demanding Suppliers, City Growth Special Contractors, and the Five Way Town. In addition to all this, we’ve added more track tiles and have created new complex hard curve tracks.

The addition of promos as full retail release will undoubtedly be great news for many, but wait, there’s more!  A new Universal Display board is added allowing you to play expansions next to expansions maps rather than on top of the original board.  Finally, the box is designed to fit all existing Steam expansions and an updated omnibus of rules for all expansions.  Boxcar seems to be a very appropriate title for this release!  Get your tickets ready, Steam Map Expansion 5 releases in April 2016.

The Dice Tower podcast in which Tom Vasel emphatically encouraged the board game community to be patient when it comes to difficult-to-find games

gts dist

 

Straight from the GTS Distribution Trade Show in Atlanta 2015 we have some excellent news to share with you all:

Arcane Wonders, makers of the Dice Tower Essentials line, have announced that a Sheriff of Nottingham expansion is under development and is being designed by our Capo, Tom Vasel, and fellow designers Steve Avery and Zee Garcia.

Now that AEG has finished their trio of vehicle games, Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, they now turn their attention to expanding the three games.  Interestingly they are opting to release a single expansion that will contain modules to expand the three different games instead of three different expansions so look forward to this.

Marvel Legendary is the deck building game that keeps on going and there is no plan to stop now with the announcement of Legendary Captain America.  Expect to see this small box expansion from Upper Deck in 2016.

Have you been itching to get some Cthulhu in your war game?  Well you won’t have to wait much longer as Shadows over Normandie from Iello is set to release on November 12th.

Fluxx, the game with more variations than Love Letter, has just passed the 2 million Fluxx games sold mark, so toss Andy Looney and the folks at Looney Labs a congratulations for reaching this amazing milestone.

Hot on the heels of the release of T.I.M.E. Stories, the folks over at Space Cowboys have stated they intend to provide a new scenario for the game every quarter, making sure you don’t get bored of playing the same scenario over and over.

That’s it for now, but loads more news will be coming as the show goes on so keep watching here or the Dice Tower twitter feed.

website_essen2015_preorders_400

Flatlined Games has announced an experiment for this year’s Essen Fair in October 2015. This year, they will be selling limited print runs of two new titles through pre-order for pick up at Essen. Flatlined states “These games may see a larger, industrially produced print run in the future”, but this is not guaranteed. Depending on gamer interest, this could be the only opportunity to get these games.

The games are:

  • Steamrollers, a dice-drafting train game designed by Mark Gerrits for 2-5 players. Players draft dice from a common pool to build a rail network, upgrade equipment, acquire special powers and deliver goods to score VPs. Each player used pen or pencil to track their growing network on a personal map. The player with the most VPs wins. The game is designed to play in 30 minutes.

    otter nonsense

  • Otter Nonsense, a card game designed by Eric Hanuise for 2-6 players. Using cards with illustrations of otters drawn by Elisabeth Hanchir, player play cards to three pile in the turn, following the direction and characteristic of the previous card. Inability to play a card forces the player to give a point to the previous player who blocked them. Emptying your hand earns bonus points. The first player to seven points wins. The game plays in 15 minutes.

Flatlined also has two other events scheduled for Essen:

  • Kwanchai Moriya will be signing games containing his artwork, particularly Rumble and Twin Tin Bots
  • Flatlined’s latest Kickstarter game Argo will be available for demos at Essen

Finally, Flatlined will have a few copies Dragon Rage, Rumble and Robin available at Essen. Details from Flatlined can be found here.

rolling america

Last year a little game out of Japan called Rolling Japan became a hit with indie gamers. It is designed by Hisashi Hayashi who also brought us hits like Trains, Sail to India, and many others. Rolling Japan quickly sold out and was never published in America. To this day gamers are going to extreme lengths to find this gem of a game.

Well no longer will you have to work so hard to find the gameplay of Rolling Japan. Gamewright has announced Rolling America will be rolling out to stores across the USA and beyond. Gamewright has brought us other compact dice games like Qwixx and Go Nuts and Rolling America fits right in with these compact dice games.

Rolling America, also designed by Hisashi Hayashi, has the same game play as its predecessor Rolling Japan. Each player will try to fill a map of the United States with numbers they roll on a series of dice. However each state (block) cannot have a number different by more than 1 than the number in its neighboring state(s). Filling up these blocks requires careful planning and some luck and whomever completes their map with the least mistakes will take the win.

“The game is a fully immersive visual and mental challenge, since everyone plays at once. It also makes an excellent complement to Qwixx, which has quickly risen to become one of our top selling dice games.”

Rolling America is sure to be a hit like Rolling Japan is and will be widely available in the Fall of 2015. So if you like quick challenging dice games be sure to look for it in your FLGS/OLGS.

Hello Readers! AEG is going to be bursting into November with some exciting game releases so let’s get right to it!

planes

The highly talked about game Planes, by David Short, will have players taking on the roles of passengers trying to get through a crowded airport to board their plane before it takes off and leaves them behind! As in real life, this won’t necessarily be the easiest task to complete! Players will have to put up with checking in their luggage, going through security check points, grabbing a bite to eat or visiting the gift shop all while navigating the crowded airport and still being on time! Planes plays 2-4 players in about 30 minutes.

Planes is the 2nd in AEG’s “Destination Fun” Series following Trains. AEG hints at more travel titles in the future so we’ll have to wait and see!

patronize

AEG brings us back to the city of Tempest with it’s newest game, Patronize. Designed by Hisashi Hayashi (Trains), Patronize plays 3-5 players in about 20 minutes. Described as a trick taking game (love those!) players will be the head of a house that is very influential in Tempest. You’ll be giving your patronage to sculptors, painters, composers, forgers and charlatans in order to make sure your family name is remembered for their great accomplishments of the time. They key to winning is knowing when to support the right personality card at the right time or knowing when to withholding your support and passing.

With each personality card having their own strengths and weaknesses there will be multiple avenues of victory, which will bring depth and countless replays!

doomtown new town

Listen up Pardner! New Town, New Rules here in Gomorra! The first exciting expansion to Doomtown: Reloaded makes its way into town squares everywhere in November! Several cards have been spoiled already but the Saddlebag Expansion will be bringing in cards to further strengthen all four factions. Morgan Cattle Co. known for it’s massive economy, Law Dogs for their control, Sloane Gang for their brute force and the Fourth Ring for their Spells and Hexes will all benefit from this expansion. It’s an exciting time to be playing Doomtown: Reloaded so stroll on by and pop in to the Town Square! Unless yer a yellow belly…

switching tracks components

School is almost back in session and as everybody knows, there are good teachers and there are bad teachers. If I could take classes with anyone, I’d be inclined to sign up for a class taught by the tastefully ridiculous Dr. Watts from the Switching Tracks Kickstarter video.

Switching Tracks is a pick-up and deliver game by Kris Gould (Jet Set, Buccaneer Bones) for 2 to 5 players. The objective of the game is to complete 5 contracts, which are delivery goals that are visible and available to each player. When a player delivers the goods designated by a contract, then that player claims the contract and nobody else can score it.

Of course, there is more to the game than just moving goods around the board. Aside from using your delivered goods to complete contracts, you can also spend those goods to buy upgrades. You can increase your movement speed, carry capacity, or you could hire more switchmen, who allow you to alter the track connections on the board. By completing contracts, you can build new offices that alter your train’s abilities in unique ways.

The Kickstarter will be ending very soon on Tuesday, August 19 and is expected to be shipped in late November. For more information about how the game plays, check out the rules page or the attached video.