two player game

If you’re a fan of narrative driven games, historical themes, deck-building, punchy two-player experiences, or all of the above, you will be interested in Undaunted: Normandy coming this August from Osprey Games. It comes with some whopping credits behind it, designed by both David Thompson and Trevor Benjamin (both of whom created the recently popular War Chest) with art by Roland MacDonald (whose brilliant, sharp illustrations are featured in Western Legends and Stop Thief!). This campaign-style game follows the history of the US 30th Infantry Division, where one player operates a deck representing those US troops as they drive into occupied France, while the other player controls the German opposition. Both participants must manage troops, reinforcements, and casualties as they simulate this titanic point in WWII history through tactical choices and card play.

“Undaunted: Normandy is a deck-building game that places you and your opponent in command of American or German forces, fighting through a series of missions critical to the outcome of World War II. Use your cards to seize the initiative, bolster your forces, or control your troops on the battlefield. Strong leadership can turn the tide of battle in your favour, but reckless decisions could prove catastrophic, as every casualty you take removes a card from your deck.”

While there are no shortage of war games that are capable of providing a tension-filled window into the Invasion of Normandy, this is no-doubt a much faster, more personal approach. Where there is a lack of miniatures, there’s an excellent use of Roland McDonald’s work that provides fresh, evocative faces of the stakes both players know. It may not have an expansive spatial element to it, but the struggles your deck will go through should more than impress. If you’re interested in learning more about Undaunted: Normandy, check out Osprey Games’ website/blog for further reading and announcements.

Pocket Box Games, as they sound, are games designed for and packaged in small plastic boxes that are easily transported so you can bring them with you anywhere.  How big are the boxes?  They measure a mere 4.25 inches in one direction, 7.25 inches in the other, and only 2 inches thick.  This puts it in the same size class as the Tiny Epic series of games, meaning they will be highly portable and you could easily bring several of them without much effort.  But enough about the box, what about the games?

The games they are packaging in these boxes are what really bring back the 80’s as they are reprinting classic SJG titles for these boxes.  The initial titles (not including stretch goals) are Illuminati, Ogre, GEV, Battlesuit, Car Wars, Truck Stop, and Crash City.  Also since they are wanting to really relive the time, they are making minimal to no additions or changes to these games so they will play like they did back in the day, although with a “2019 Reproduction” stamp on components so you can tell editions apart.  However, they did depart from the original in one way, and that’s the price.  Each pocket box game will cost you $20 plus shipping, with discounts for buying in sets of 4.  Also available are just empty pocket boxes themselves, that way if you have the original but the box is beat up and busted, you can just get the new and improved box at $10 per pair of boxes.

So if you are looking for some gold from Steve Jackson Games’ past in a brand new box, check out the Kickstarter page today!

Renegade Games is releasing a historical, two-player Stefan Feld game – Revolution of 1828.

The year is 1828. It’s time for elections and you want to become the 7th President of the United States. Players take on the roles of John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson, the two candidates for the top post.

“For the first time in history, this grand campaign is also fought on the pages of newspapers and the eager public audience. This was an election that found its way into history books with its yet unseen ruthlessness and malevolence. This was America’s first smear campaign.”

It’s not easy to become the next President of the United States. To reach this lofty goal, you need to take Election tiles that suit you best and hinder your opponent’s campaign. Election tiles allow you to garner the allegiance of Electors and use the power of Smear Campaigns to skew the populace in your favor. You can also use some powerful Campaign Actions to get the press to look away from your dastardly actions. If you plan your campaign right, nothing will stand in your way to becoming President!

Box contents

• 78 Election tiles
• 6 Figures
• 49 Vote tokens
• 1 Game board
• 1 Linen Bag
• 1 Rulebook (including historical background)

Revolution of 1828 is a two-player game for wannabe presidents ages 12+. It plays in 30-60 minutes. The game is available for preorder now and should be in stores in April 2019.

Games Workshop continues to branch out and this time it is with a digital and analog trading card game called Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Champions.  Champions is a two player card game where each player will be fielding four champions from their chosen faction, and then spend the game trying to take each other down.  From the start you will have four factions to choose from; Order, Chaos, Destruction, and Death, each with their own different units, spells, and blessings to use.  At the start of the game you will put our your four champions and then hidden blessings for each champion.  Each of your champions has specific quests associated with them, like bringing out certain units or damaging your opponent, and when those quests are achieved you get to activate their blessing.  Blessing effects are pronounced and will have a big impact on winning, so ignoring them isn’t the best plan, and getting them activated is always a good one.  But you will have more than just these champions, you will also have a deck of 30 cards consisting of units, spells, and other actions you can use to win the battle.  The winner will be the one who takes out their opponent first.

At launch in August there will be a campaign deck available for each faction which will have everything you need in order to play the game with that deck.  There will also be booster packs of 10 cards which will contain 6 common, 3 uncommon, and 1 rare card, plus of those cards 2 will be champions or blessings and 1 will be foil.  You can pre-order a Founder’s Pack from the Champions website which includes all the campaign decks, 10 booster packs, playmats, tokens, and even more goodies for a collector.  You can find out more on the Champions website.

I mentioned this was also a digital game as well, and so the app version of the game will launch at the same time as the physical game on both iOS and Android, and then later on Steam.  So whether you like your cards in hand or on your computer, Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Champions has you covered.

Dinosaur Island, what everyone refers to as Jurassic Park the board game, has come back to Kickstarter to allow everyone another chance at getting the Kickstarter edition, as well as an expansion and a two-player spinoff entitled Duelosaur Island.  Dinosaur Island is a worker placement and dice rolling type of game where you will be collecting things like DNA and money in order to expand your park.  The things you can get for your park include upgrades to park equipment, concessions, and those all important dinosaur pens for you to later fill with dinosaurs.  But be careful, the dinosaurs can break out and eat your visitors, which is never good for business.  So keep those dinos in their cages, and the visitors happy, and you just might win the game.  The Kickstarter edition of the game, which they are calling the X-treme edition, includes a slap bracelet first players marker, upgraded tokens, and sleek metal coins.

The expansion for Dinosaur Island is called Totally Liquid, and aside from having a commercial straight from the 90s, includes lots of new content to add to your game.  Included in the expansion will be all the components to add a fifth player to the game, which is something requested by a lot of players.  Also included will be blueprints, which give you points based on how you build your park, a park extension with a special attraction and worker, and PR events which give bonus scoring opportunities at the end of the game.  But the big addition is the fact you will now be able to build water pens into your park and have the majestic Elasmosaurus and the vicious Dunkleosteus grace your parks.  Basically the expansion will be giving you more of what you love about Dinosaur Island, just with more water.

And finally, you will be able to get Duelosaur Island, a two-player version of the game where you will play head to head against an opponent to build the best dinosaur park.  A lot of the game will be familiar to Dinosaur Island players, but still utilize new mechanics like a variation on the I split, you choose mechanic for assigning dice modifiers in the game.  This way the game will stay fresh and be streamlined for a better two-player experience.

So if any of this sounds like fun to you, check out the Kickstarter campaign, Duelosaur will run you $35, the expansion $45, and the X-treme edition of the base game will set you back $85.

Asmodee Digital continues to up it’s game by entering into a partnership with Playdeck. Four games that will immediately be transformed under the new brand are Ascension, Twilight Struggle, Summoner Wars, and Agricola.  Notice that these games aren’t new to the app space as they have been previously under Playdeck, but now they are under Asmodee Digital’s control.  Will we see new updates or additional versions of the games in the future?  Well we won’t know until Asmodee tells us about it.  You can download the games from your respective app stores, and check out each of the links above for more information on the individual game apps.

Tak has been getting a lot of good buzz. It’s a two player abstract strategy game with a ton of great reviews, landing it at number 16 on BGG for abstract games.  One thing about the game though is that it’s not small, nor is it exactly cheap, both aspects which Cheapass Games has aimed to fix.  In late February they will be releasing Tak: University Edition, which features the full game, but in a smaller and more affordable package.  The game itself has a deceptively easy goal, just create a road connecting your side of the board to the opponent’s side.  But accomplishing that goal is much more difficult because they can block you with walls, cover your pieces with their pieces, and even lock pieces in place.  But manage to out smart your opponent and you can claim victory.

Next is an expansion for Dropmix, a game being talked about not so much because of how good the game is, but because of the cool technology involved in game play.  The main component of the game is an electronic board that connects to your phone via bluetooth, and it’s on this board that all the magic happens.  In the various game modes you will be playing down cards onto the board, and depending on where you play them you will pull in different aspects of that song into the mix.  You might pull in vocals, the bass, the drums, and so on, all coming together to create a unique mix of music.  So far there have been cards produced in the pop, hip-hop, rock, and electronic genres for use in the game, but now they are adding something new, country.  This new pack will be like the others and include 15 cards along with one hidden track card, allowing you to pull your favorite country songs into the mix.  Look for this pack to be on store shelves at the start of February.

Even though the holidays will soon be upon us, companies are already preparing for the next year with some new games.  First on that list is the next expansion for the Aeon’s End card game from Indie Boards and Cards. Aeon’s End is a card game in which each player has their own deck, specific to the breach mage they choose, and will have to work together with the other players to defeat the nemesis they have chosen.  You will have to work well together as the nemesis has their own deck and will be fighting back, quite viciously, to defeat you before you can cast them out.  The new expansion, called Aeon’s End: The Void, adds in two new nemeses and two new breach mages, as well as new gems, relics, spells, and minions.  So if you enjoy the game, be sure to check out this expansion when it hits store shelves in January of 2018.

Next we have two expansion decks coming from Plaid Hat games for the Ashes, Rise of the Phoenixborn card game.  The two new decks are The Goddess Ishra, and The Boy Among Wolves, each of which will require an Ashes base game in order to supply the needed dice.  These two decks just expand even more the options of cards you have for the game and bring two new phoenixborn into the game.  The Boy Among Wolves has the highest battlefield number in the game at 10, meaning he can have lots of units in play at once.  This is especially important because his abilities and cards lead to summoning a large number of units in a very short amount of time.  The Goddess Ishra is more about control, offering average stats but having a highly useful ability of being able to exhaust a unit when an attack is declared, either by your opponent or you.  She also continues this sense of control with her cards that specialize in controlling the actions of your opponent, and even so far as to controlling some of your opponent’s units.  Both of these decks will be hitting stores soon and you can find out more on the Goddess Ishra preview and the Boy Among Wolves preview on the Plaid Hat site.

Finally we have a new food truck themed game from Adam’s Apple Games, and that is Truck Off: The Food Truck Frenzy.  This is a simultaneous action selection type game where you will be picking where you will park your truck, and then trying to sell food there.  The game is played over five rounds and each round consists of picking where you park, and then picking your special action for the round.  For each location you will then roll their specified die, from a d4 up to a d20, and the result will be equally split among the trucks that are present there, earning each truck owner money.  At the end of five rounds the winner will be the one who managed to bring in the most money.  So if this light food truck themed game sounds good to you, look for it on store shelves in January.

Force Friday 2 has come and gone, and with it the release of a new Star Wars game from FFG, a two player boxed set of Star Wars Destiny.  Fantasy Flight Games was rather hush about this release and wouldn’t even let brick-and-mortar stores about what exactly was going to be released that Friday (stores had to blindly go in on knowing they were releasing some sort of a Star Wars game that day).

Star Wars Destiny is the collectible dice game being put out by FFG as a competitor to Dice Masters.  In the game you will build a deck based on a set amount of points and dice, and then take your band of characters and equipment into battle against someone else.  Drawing and rolling dice on your turn in order to activate the many abilities of the cards you have.  In this new box set you will get enough cards, tokens, and dice to play the game right out of the box.  Plus, for those who are veterans to the game, this new box also features unique characters that haven’t been released like new versions of Captain Phasma, Kylo Ren, Rey, and Poe Dameron.  So whether you are just getting into the game or have been around for a while, this new boxed set is worth a look.

You can find out my information on FFG website, or go to your FLGS and pick it up today!

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.