two player games
Red Raven Games has just announced their latest game, Haven, designed by the talented Alf Seegert, and featuring Rad Raven’s signature art style. Haven is a two player area control type game where one player plays the forest trying to protest the havens, and the other plays the city trying to capture it’s power for themselves. In order to take control of the havens you have to battle for them, and to battle for them you will be placing out your seekers at different lore locations, leaf, water, stone, similar to Battle Line. You will also being making offerings at these different locations because resolution doesn’t trigger until three offering cards are at a single location. Resolution is easy, whoever has more swords will be able to claim a shrine, but whoever has more value of cards there will claim the lore card which is worth points at the end. When you claim all the shrines around a haven on the board you get to claim that haven for your side, pushing you closer to victory. At the end of the game you will also get points if you have the most of a given lore type, and then points will be awarded for having the most havens. Most points at the end is the winner. There are more rules than just this, which you can download and read on the Red Raven Games website.
Overall the game looks like a nice two player battle game where you are trying to strategically win certain shrines and cards in order to score the most points at the end through area control. Beyond just the seeker and offering cards I mentioned above there are also lore cards which change things up as well, giving you an extra leg up just when you might need it. Along with advanced variant rules and Red Raven’s signature art, this could be a very good two-player game. Look for it on store shelves soon, although no specific date has been given.
Fantasy Flight Games has announced plans to release a Revised Core Set for Android: Netrunner The Card Game. Along with a revised core set will come significant changes to tournament play.
Based on the original card game by legendary designer Richard Garfield, Android: Netrunner The Card Game remains an asymetrical two player card game set in a dystopian Android future where subversive netrunners face off against the monolithic megacorps in an effort to control data.
The more things change, the more they stay the same
The concept of Android: Netrunner remains the same. one player assumes control of a monolithic megacorporation and it’s near infinite resources. A second player take on the role of a “runner,” a cybercriminal attempting to bypass the megacorporation’s defenses and steal data. Corps gain points by advancing agendas, while runners steal points by stealing agendas from the corps. Both sides attempt to gain their points through clever card play and use of hidden information.
What cards are available to you and to your opponent set the stage for this showdown. The Revised Core Set will include 247 player cards, 133 Corps cards and 144 Runner cards to do battle with.
While the Revised Core Set creates a new entry point for Android: Netrunner, it does not introduce any new cards into the game. Players who own the original Core Set along with the Data Packs available in the Genesis Cycle and the Spin Cycle will already own everything available. While card art and quantities of cards vary from those in the Core Set and Data Packs, the actual card abilities and text will remain the same.
Changes to Tournament Play
With thousands of cards now in the Netrunner universe, the incredible growth of the game has also created a card pool so large it has created a barrier to new players and in developing new strategies. Similar to other LCG and CCG formats, Netrunner Tournament Play has introduced a system refresh system that will mean older products will no longer be tournament legal as new cards are introduced.
For Netrunner Standard Play, five to seven cycles of Data Packs will be the limit to what is now legal. Whenever an eighth cycle would be added to the standard pool, the two oldest cycles are rotated out of Standard Play.
The new changes to legal play take effect October 1st. Effective October 1st tournament play will consist of the new Revised Core Set and the following expansions:
- Creation and Control
- Honor and Profit
- Order and Chaos
- Data and Destiny
- Terminal Directive (player cards only)
- Lunar Cycle Data Packs
- SanSan Cycle Data Packs
- Mumbad Cycle Data Packs
- Flashpoint Cycle Data Packs
- Red Sand Cycle Data Pack
5 Years of Running
Android: Netrunner the Card Game has only been around for the past 5 years, released in 2012. While a reimplementation of the original 1996 Netrunner game by Richard Garfield, the 2012 edition proved much more popular. Award for the new game included:
Dice Tower Top 10 lists that have featured the revised game over the past 5 years include:
Victory Point Games’ latest creation is a two player court room game where you play out the trial of Louis Riel, a famous figure in Canadian history. In the game one player will be the prosecutor and the other will be the defense, and unfortunately, like in the real trial, the deck is stacked in favor of the prosecutor. Players will first have to seat a jury, with 12 jurors to choose from you will have to come down to a selection of 6 of them. From there both players will then start playing cards to influence individual jurors or to sway people of a particular profession, faith, or nationality. Cards will have multiple actions that can be taken on the card so you will have to pick which one you want to use at that time. You play two rounds of the game and then play out your summation cards to wrap up your case, in the end whichever side has the most points is the winner of the case.
High Treason: The Trial of Lousi Riel is the first in Victory Point Games’ line of games called The World on Trial. They intend to use the framework developed in this game and apply it to different trials in history for players to be able to play it out on their tables. To learn more about the game you can check out the unboxing video on Victory Point Games’ site and also pre-order it through their site.
Steamforged Games is making a push to make Guild Ball more accessible and easier to get into in the second season of the game. To help in this they are releasing a 2-player starter set for the game called Kick Off! that aims to get players up to speed quickly. It will have everything you need to play the game;
- Kick Off! Rulebook
- Guild Ball Core Rulebook
- Captain’s Handbook
- 3’x3′ Double-Sided Board of the Guild Ball Pitch
- 12 Colored Plastic Models (Pre-assembled)
- Player Character Cards
- 128 Game Tokens
- Measuring Tools and Templates
- Guild Ball Dice
The plastic models will be enough to field a Brewers team and a Mason team, which then can be later expanded through the many figures they currently offer. So if you are interested in getting into this fantasy soccer game then keep an eye out for the starter set to hit shelves at the end of November.
Hasbro continues to search for new talent in the area of hobby games and so has selected five finalists for their latest Next Great Game contest. There is no particular theme to this contest unlike some of the previous ones, and at least one of the games is something I think would appeal to a lot of board gamers. The finalist are:
- Lair – this is a two player dungeon exploration game where you create the dungeon on a sheet first, then you will take turns exploring it, revealing things as you go until the hero perishes or finds all the loot
- Colossal Blob – this is a card game where you are trying to grow your blob to colossal size by playing out in order, 1-4 and then a colossal card on top. While that sounds easy there are plenty of attack cards which will knock up back down so you have to grow back up again.
- The Plot Thickens – this is a story telling game where you are telling a story using cards that represent people, places, and things. The more plot points you are able to fit into your story, the more likely you are to be able to tell the ending, while the player who got referenced to the most gets to name it.
- Plank and Rank – this is best described as a race game as you try to build your bridge across the river and then try to get your army across faster. The number of army guys you get to move each turn is determined by a 10 sided die, with the option to move either a line of X guys one space, or one guy X spaces, where X is your die roll.
- On The Slopes – this is a game all about skiing and trying to visit all the lodges on the mountain. On your turn you have three actions to use, going up a lift will take an action, visiting a lodge takes an action, but going down a slope takes a variable amount of actions. This is because you can choose what difficulty of slope you take down, beginner slopes guarantee you make it but cost 2 actions. Intermediate and advanced slopes take fewer actions but you have to roll a die, possibly giving you wipeout cards that have negative effects on them.
All the games are currently up on Indiegogo and if they get at least 100 backers then they will be considered for the final win on November 13th. Personally I hope On The Slopes takes the win, but everyone has different tastes in games, and right now The Plot Thickens is doing the best.
Button Shy Games continues to expand it’s wallet series of games with it’s latest entry, a two player worker placement style game called Ahead in the Clouds.
The citizens of the Empacta skies long for the days where everyone, not just the wealthy, can ditch their masks and breathe the precious air that they call their home. As an industrialist, you will collect dust particles from the air and water vapor from the clouds to convert to hydrogen and oxygen.
By collecting, converting and selling these precious resources, you can provide your family with the breathing room that you need to keep your business afloat and go home at night knowing you made a difference to the world with fresh air.
With this backdrop you will take various actions in this game by collecting resources, water and rock, and converting them into other resources, Oxygen and Hydrogen, to fulfill contracts. The more contracts you fulfill the better off you will be, and in the end the one with the most contracts will be the winner. But plan wisely, because every so often the blimps will come by to tax you for some resources, and they don’t care if you have enough or not because they will take what they need. After 8 rounds of the game the winner is determined based on who has fulfilled more contracts.
The game looks great and has some innovative ideas on how to do worker placement with the constantly changing and rearranging “board”. Cost for the base game is only $10, with a $13 pledge level to include tokens and character cards to bring some asymmetry to the game. If this sounds like something you would like then head on over to the campaign page to pledge for your copy today.
Rather Dashing Games teased this upcoming game earlier this year, but now they have officially announced the game Element. In the game you are playing as an elemental sage, trying to capture your opposing sage using the four elements. Using wind, fire, earth, and water you have to somehow get around their defenses and box them in, but those elemental interactions are what make this game interesting. The obvious of water countering fire is there, but what happens when wind comes up against water, or earth against fire? It’s these varying interactions that will make each game of Element different and keep it fresh from game to game. First one to capture their opponent is the winner.
Also of interest is that Boardgame Corner has given Element the Cornerstone Collection award, branding it as a game they think everyone should own. So if you value their opinion then you might want to pick up this game when it becomes available in December of this year. You can read the full press release below.
Master the forces of nature in Element!
Fire. Water. Earth. Wind. These four Elements have driven mankind’s mythology, philosophy and science for thousands of years. Now master these primal forces in this easy-to- learn but deeply strategic game. Element, the latest release from the creative minds at Rather Dashing Games, is a unique strategy game for 2 to 4 players, ages 14 and up. Players take turns drawing and placing Element stones to encircle their opponents’ Sages (player pieces). Each Element has unique properties used to block an opponent’s movement. Feed walls of flame, move raging rivers, raise impenetrable mountain ranges and even bend wind to your command.
Transform one Element into another with the Rule of Replacement or sacrifice stones to help your Sage avoid capture. Understanding the subtle, diverse and powerful nature of the four Elements is the key to surrounding your opponent and claiming victory.
Interactions between the four Elements and the Sages ensure that the game never plays the same way twice. Element’s rich gaming experience makes it perfect for tournaments and organized play. Boardgame Corner gave Element the first-ever Cornerstone Collection Award prior to its release, praising it as “a great strategy game with some puzzle-like elements. One of those games that keeps you coming back for more, with every experience being unique in some way.”
Each game includes:
- Game Board
- 4 Unique Sages
- 120 Element Stones
- Embroidered Bag
- Element Rule Book
Release date: December 2016
Average game play: 30 minutes
Element joins Rather Dashing Games’ already stellar catalog of easy-to- play, hard-to- win games including We Come in Peace, the Drawn & Quartered series – Pirates, Ninjas, Robots & Zombies and Graveyards, Ghosts & Haunted Houses – and other favorites such as Four Taverns and Dwarven Miner.
To see a full listing of Rather Dashing Games, please visit www.ratherdashinggames.com.
The classic fairy-tale Jack and the Bean Stalk is getting a card game re-imagining courtesy of Dan Cassar, designer of Arboretum. The game is called The Blood of an Englishman, derived from the iconic phrase the giant shouts as he chases after Jack. In this two player game you will either be Jack, trying to loot the giant’s home for treasure, or the giant trying to stop him. Both have specific card arrangements they are trying to achieve, Jack has to form three bean stalks to make three trips for the bag of gold, Golden Goose, and the Singing Harp. Meanwhile the giant is trying to arrange the Fee, Fi, Fo, and Fum cards into his iconic phrase in order to stop him. There will be multiple actions available to both sides so the winner will be whoever can carefully build their goal first. Look for this game to hit stores in early November 2016, and you can read the press release below for more information.
Renegade Game Studios to release The Blood of an Englishman
Dan Cassar’s take on a classic tale.
San Diego, CA (August 11th, 2016) — Renegade Game Studios™, the premier publisher of original games, is proud to announce The Blood of An Englishman by Dan Cassar, designer of Arboretum. This new take on the classic Jack and the Beanstalk will be released November 2016.
“Fee Fi Fo Fum! I smell the blood of an Englishman!” roared the giant as he crashed through the vines. Jack, with one arm around his precious stolen harp and the other grasping the bean stalk, felt the rush of danger. Will he make it to the bottom in time to chop down the leafy ladder or will the Giant successfully catch the thieving beggar?
In The Blood of an Englishman, players take on the role of either Jack or the Giant. The Giant must maneuver the Fee Fi Fo and Fum cards while Jack tries to create three bean stalks to steal the bag of gold, the Golden Goose, and the Singing Harp. Each player has different available actions and must carefully arrange the cards to achieve their goal. Are you brave enough to face your fate?
“We are thrilled to be working with Dan Cassar on this project. He’s an incredibly talented designer and will be the perfect addition to our designer family,” says Renegade President Scott Gaeta. “The Blood of An Englishman is so well balanced and thoughtful. It’s a great puzzle for both players.”
Look for The Blood of an Englishman to hit shelves in early November 2016. Each game takes about 20-30 minutes to play and is for 2 players ages 10+.
You can visit: renegadegames.com for more information about our games and the designers we work with.
War Co. is a sci-fi expandable card game that plays 2 to 6 people in about 60 minutes. In this game it is all about scarcity and managing what little resources you have to use from turn to turn. In the game you will start with a deck of 50 cards, and it’s these cards that are your life. In order to win you have to be the last one standing by forcing all your opponents to discard cards until they don’t have anymore. This will mainly be achieved through attacking, if you attack their cards and destroy one, they discard another card, but attack them directly and they lose three. There are also ways to defend yourself and your cards as well as lay traps in order to surprise your opponent. But you also have to make sure you have the energy for all this, as you only get 10 energy to pass around to your forces on your turn, forcing you to pick and choose. Then there is the fact you can only play 5 cards in a turn and you have to discard a card every turn, symbolizing the continuing decline in available resources. So make your move or end up fading out.
The game was Kickstarted once before and garnered a lot of feedback and has come back to launch again with an improved game. Initially there will be 6 different decks available to purchase, each with their own unique style of play from the hard hitting bruisers to the tricky conspirators. You can head over to the campaign page to check it out and back for some or all of the decks available.
Atlas Games will be releasing a new two-player asymmetric game next month that brings fox hunting into the board game realm, Hounded. In the game a player will either be the cunning fox, trying to elude capture, or the determined hunter, trying to hunt down the fox. In the game each player will be moving their pawns and turning over tiles as they do, sometimes triggering effects and sometimes not. Now while the fox character is alone, the hunter has a team of hounds to help him hunt the fox. All the hunter has to do to win is either corner the fox with his dogs, or force the fox to end his turn next to the hunter himself. For the fox to win he has to essentially run out the clock, this is done by either finding the three time piece tiles, or flipping over 43 out of the 49 tiles. Once time runs out the hunter has to retire for the day and the fox escapes!
Art for the game has an origami feel to it with lots of sharp edges and points, an art style which is also shown on the tiles as well. The game itself seems very portable and will come in a tin that I imagine will be around Roll for It Deluxe size. Look for this on store shelves next month.
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