Ultra Pro

Breaking Games has a pair of games coming out next month with one being a Kickstarter game and the other being an abstract strategy game.  Lets looks first at the abstract game called Aura.  The game plays up to four people and revolves around playing down cards to eliminate cards from your opponent’s deck.  The cards themselves have both a color, and a value or special ability.  Play is simple with a play/draw type turn structure and you are aiming to protect yourself and attack your opponent.  The colors have a rock/paper/scissor type strength and weakness chart so value is not the only determiner when things get revealed.  Be the last one with cards left in the game to be crowned the winner.

Next is a Kickstarter game that is being brought to retail, and that is The King’s Abbey.  The King’s Abbey is a dice worker placement game where you are trying to build the best abbey to help bring your kingdom out of the dark ages.  Each round has you rolling dice and using those dice to acquire resources similar to how you get resources in Stone Age, and then you use those resources to perform actions and build your abbey.  You will also be going on crisades and defending your abbey from attacks to keep it from being torn down.  Completed crusades and buildings will earn you points, and the most point at the end is the winner.  Look for this game and Aura to be on store shelves in June.

Last is the announcement of the latest expansion to the Ascension deck building game, and that is Ascension: Alliances.  This is an expansion only set and mainly changes the way that you can play four player games.  With this set you can convert any Ascension set into a team versus team game with two players on each side.  The new rules change how the unite keyword works, and includes a bunch of cards that play into the new team game play mode.  Plus as kind of a bonus, this new set comes in an Ascension themed deck box that can hold 100+ cards and has a divider.  Needless to say if you are a fan of the game and are looking for a new way to play with four, look for this set on store shelves in July.

DriveThruCards has been offering print-on-demand services for small cards games for many years now, allowing gamers and designers to create and sell their creations.  They have negotiated partnerships with several game companies to allow for custom cards to be created for games like Pathfinder ACG, Boss Monster, and Phase.  Now, through a partnership with Stone Blade Entertainment and Ultra Pro, Ascension is being added to that list.  So you are able to go to DriveThruCards’ site and browse cards created by others, and even create your own with their online tool, and get them all printed.  You can find out more in the full press release below, then head on over to DriveThruCards.com.

 

Stone Blade Entertainment and Ultra PRO are proud to announce that fans of “Ascension: A Deckbuilding Game” are now able to create their own personalized cards! Through a partnership with DriveThruCards, gamers can create Hero, Construct, and Monster cards and include effects that generate Runes, Power, Honor, Energy, and Insight! 
 
If you’d like to surprise your friends on your next game night, sneak in one of your personalized cards and wait for everyone’s reaction. If you want to create a card that only you can acquire, go for it! The possibilities are truly endless.
 
Each card costs $0.50 with a minimum order of 10 cards. Gamers can start creating their cards today at the following URL: https://www.drivethrucards.com/builder/ascension

Ultra PRO has announced a cooperative board game based on Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets, the new movie from Luc Besson (Lucy, The Fifth Element). Valerian: The Alpha Missions has players complete missions in a randomly set up board of hidden tiles within the contested zone of Alpha.  Battle or evade enemies, explore the reaches of Alpha, and decide whether it is best to split up or work together, but the players must cooperate to complete the missions and get to the extraction site in time to win.

Valerian: The Alpha Misisions is due to be released by the end of July 2017.

Convention season is coming and so of course the game announcements are going to start ramping up.  We have five new announcements in this article to go through so lets get cracking.

First is the latest from Wizkids and that is DiceBot MegaFun, a real time dice game of robot combat.  In the game you will be rolling dice to try and scavenge weapons from the junkyard to outfit your robot with.  Then, once you have the weapons you desire you will start attacking your opponents, hoping they don’t have a defense for the weapon you choose.  Manage you get through their defenses and you will damage then, cause enough damage and they will be eliminated!  Last one standing is the winner.  Look for this to be released in June.

Next is a new game from Osprey Games called Star Cartel, which as you can guess from the title is a game all about trading goods in space.  In the game you are trying to make your goods worth the most, but in order for the value of goods to go up you have to trade them to the Cartel.  But you can’t score what you don’t have so you have to be careful how much you let go.  You will also be able to upgrade your ship to better protect your investments and hope you have the most valuable stash by the end of the game.  Look for this on store shelves in July of this year.

Ultra Pro is continuing to ramp up it’s game offerings with a new abstract strategy game called Zircles.  This game has a bit of a Blokus feel to it in that you have triangle pieces of differing arrangements and sizes.  On your turn you place down a piece trying to complete the circles at the corners of the triangles.  As you complete circles you will get points, and once someone has played all their pieces, any you have left will count against you.  Whoever has the highest score at the end is the winner.  Zircles will be released in July of this year.

Lastly we have two releases coming from Rio Grande Games, first is an expansion to the time travel game Temporum called Temporum: Alternate Realities.  What the expansion does is double the amount of cards in the box, giving you 48 new places to time travel to and 60 more player cards that you can use.  It also comes with all the needed chits for the new zones, but overall just gives you more variety and options in playing the game.  Look for this to arrive in June of this year.

And finally, we have the last game we will talk about, Bohnanza: The Duel, bringing the classic bean growing card game into the two player realm.  The game remains mostly the same except now instead of trading for beans, you gift them to your opponent, hopefully to their detriment.  But since it’s a gift you can reject it, but rejecting it means you have to offer your own gift in return.  Other new additions include bonus cards that give you gold when you complete them, and the ability to plant different beans in the same field.  So if you are a fan of the original but wish it was two players, this will definitely fill that need.  Look for this at your local store in May of this year.

Well it’s a cornucopia of news today, with an influx of announcements across the board (board? see what I did there?), so hold on to your Top Hats, and let’s go.

Catalyst Games have announced not one, not two, actually yes, two Shadowrun games.

  • Shadowrun Zero Day – is a head-to-head card game, quick fire and heading for launch in June at GenCon
  • Shadowrun: The Board Game – this may stir some memories, originally planned for 2014, this game has gone through a heavy redesign and is also planned for a GenCon release. Build your team, level and gear up your runners, go on missions, sounds like a solid strategy.

Fantasy Flight Games launches the sixth wave of Armada expansions. This brings us the Imperial Light Carrier Expansion Pack and the Hammerhead Corvettes Expansion Pack draw inspiration from Star Wars Rebels and Rogue One.

Three new ships – one Quasar Fire-class cruiser-carrier and two Hammerhead corvettes – will shake up your fleet nicely, and with a host of upgrades, they will encourage you to get up close and personal with your foe.

Steve Jackson Games are also in the news. Continuing the celebration of the 40th anniversary of the ever popular OgreSteve Jackson Games are re-releasing digital versions of three classic, hard-to-find Ogre supplements: Shockwave, Ogre Reinforcement Pack, and Battlefields.

New units in Shockwave include a devastating Cruise Missile, a Laser Tower to shoot it down, two new types of GEV; and the Superheavy Tank!

You want more news? Well OK then.

Cryptozoic have said they have three titles coming soon

  • Ghostbusters 2 – is due out in Q3 2017. Hot on the heals of a very successful Kickstarter, this will be hitting Retail stores soon. So if you want a copy, Who you gonna call? That’s right, your FLGS!
  • Epic Spell Wars of the Battle Wizards Melee at Murdershroom Marsh (to use its full title) is the latest addition to the Epic Spell Wars series. Fully compatible with the previous releases, and as a standalone addition this new game will surely take you on a trip!
  • Finally, the DC Deck Building continues with DC Deck-Building Game Crossover Pack 6: Birds of Prey. One of DC’s most popular super-hero team ups, the Birds of Prey are made up of fierce, intelligent and brave superheroes who operate in the shadows to protect the citizens of Gotham City and beyond.

In case you have missed it – CMON have also been in the news recently, announcing a new miniatures game based on A Song of Ice and Fire (that’s The Game of Thrones books, in case you weren’t aware) – A Song of Ice and Fire: Tabletop Miniatures Game (think the clues in the name).

This will be heading to Kickstarter in Q3 of 2017 and retail stores in 2018.

Just a couple more….

Genius Games‘ next game is on KickStarter right now. Cytosis: A Cell Biology Board Game has already passed its modest funding goal. Winner of the 2016 Stonemeier Design Day Highest Rated Game award, this worker placement game takes place inside a human cell.

This game is in very real danger of educating you, while you have fun! You have been warned.

Last, but certainly not least – Ultra Pro have announced three games ‘coming soon’

  • Fetch – Is all about helping your animal friends get their treats, not by moving them around, but by moving the Park!
  • Battle Kittens – The name says it all. Gear up your Moggies and let the fur fly!
  • Iron Curtain – Just when you thought it couldn’t get any cuter…it didn’t. A micro game of super powers assering their influence, and dominating battlegrounds to ensure their political victory.

And there we go, a bumper crop for you to feast on!

 

The latest expansion to the Ascension universe by Ultra Pro and Stone Blade Entertainment was announced here. Below is a recent press release that provides more details on the upcoming release:

Ultra Pro and Stone Blade Entertainment are proud to announce their upcoming expansion to the Ascension universe, Gift of the Elements!

Gift of the Elements is our eleventh Ascension set and we’re excited to bring back two popular game mechanics: Events and Transform. Much like in our previous releases, Storm of Souls and Immortal Heroes, Events enter the game via the center deck and create an immediate impact for all players. However, unlike previous sets, Events can now be acquired and transformed into powerful Hero cards.

In addition to these fan favorites, we’re also introducing two new mechanics to Ascension: Infest and Empower.

For the first time in a full Ascension release, you can “infest” your opponent’s’ deck, forcing them to draw useless cards. This gameplay feature can slow down a player that jumps out early and introduces a strategic element not seen in previous sets.

But fear not! We’ve given players tools to deal with these cards in the form of Empower cards. When the player acquires an Empower card, he may banish a card played that turn. In other words, you can gain the effect of a card and then banish it. This added flexibility creates a lasting impact in each game and we’re excited for everyone to experience it.

Gift of the Elements will be released on Monday, March 20, 2017. And, if you preorder on AscensionGame.com, you’ll receive an exclusive preorder promo!

Ascension VR is also available now with the War of Shadows expansion (coming soon to iOS and Android)

Ultra PRO has announced the upcoming release of Stone Blade Entertainment’s popular card game Ascension, entitled Ascension: Gift of Elements.  The following is a quote from their Facebook Page:

We have great news for you, at the show we will have an advanced copy of Ascension: Gift of Elements slated to be released early next year. Come check out the future set of Ascension before it’s released and as ask the games designer, Justin Gary, questions about how he came up with the ideas for the newest addition to the Ascension family.

More information can be found on the game’s BGG page.

Stone Blade Entertainment, and now Ultra Pro, continues the Ascension Collector’s Edition line with the Year 3 box.  This set contains all the expansions and promos released for the game in it’s third year including Ascension: Rise of Vigil and Ascension: Darkness Unleashed.  Everything you need to play the game with up to 6 players is in the box, plus it all has a nice foil sheen to it, including the board.  So if you are looking to expand your collection or just want everything nice and shiny, look for it on your local game store’s shelves in the coming weeks.