Variable Player Powers

Terra Mystica is easily one of the biggest and highest rated Eurogames of all time, having inspired a space-themed spin-off in Gaia Project. Yet it has not stopped growing as this Fall we’ll be seeing another expansion for this 2-to-5 player territory terraformin’ game. Merchants of the Seas brings shipyards, Markets, and new maps to the multitude of factions vying for control – even the ones introduced in previous expansions! You’ll be able to send out ships to take special shipping actions, or perhaps play one of the few races that prefers to not get their feet wet and instead try to manipulate trade with other structures. All this can be played independently or combined with previous expansion content, meaning you’ll be able to make the as complex and intricate as your table can handle.

Merchants of the Seas expands on the hit terraforming gameplay of Terra Mystica. Develop your faction’s nautical strategy, stake a claim on distant lands, or focus on the benefits of trade. Plus, a double-sided board and over 30 tiles add countless new avenues to victory.”

There are two main goals with this expansion that should not be overlooked by the promise of added rules – strategic flexibility and balancing. Ships and trading allow for a wide variety of action potential that is, for the most part, independent on your current standing in a game – have water, will travel. Both ships and trading have ways to give you access to distant or action efficient terraforming and building options, making it harder to be built into a corner and opening new tactical decisions to boot. The new maps offer tons of replay potential and include new starting scores for each faction for all the maps that exist, balancing the game no matter how the landscape falls. If you’re interested in Terra Mystica or Merchants of the Seas, check out Z-Man’s website for more rules, images, and preorder information through them or your favorite local retailer.

“Between the time when the oceans drank Atlantis and the rise of the sons of Aryas, there was an age undreamed of. And unto this, Conan, destined to wear the jeweled crown of Aquilonia upon a troubled brow.”   — Akiro

Now Conan fans can command Hyborian legends in epic combat and see their enemies driven before them. In Conan: Savage Legends, from S7 Games, players assemble a warband and engage in combat with highly sculpted 32mm miniatures.   Warbands are composed of powerful Legend characters, two highly skilled companions, and a handful of minion. Each round, players will activate a character in their band and spend action points to activate a variety of actions. Each character has unique abilities that can be upgraded and augmented by relics and treasure. Turn order is determined by tactics cards which also apply special effects for that round.  Players maneuver their warband around the battlefield, maximizing the effects of the terrain and tactics, accomplishing their objectives and defeating opponents, until one warband emerges as the victor. The core game comes with 18 miniatures and supports up to four players.  A double-sided terrain board and assorted terrain tiles to add variety to the arena.  Stretch goals offer additional terrain tiles and more miniatures. To learn more, check out the Kickstarter campaign which runs until August 8th, with a delivery in November 2020.

Fantasy Flight has announced a new expansion for the third edition of Arkham Horror, Dead of Night. According to Fantasy Flight’s website, this expansion features “two all-new scenarios, new encounters for every location in Arkham, new monsters and anomalies, a new monster deck holder, and four new investigators to face these fresh horrors, armed with new spells, items, and allies.”

In the first of the new scenarios, Shots in the Dark, the investigators are tasked with trying to bring peace to Arkham by getting the O’Bannion and Sheldon gangs to cease firing at each other and all the while investigate the underpinnings of why the gangs are at each other’s throats again.

The second of the new scenarios, On the Lam, concentrates on the character of Skids O’Toole, a down on his luck ex-con who has vowed to make his mother proud by finding ways to keep Arkham safe and protect it from the unknown.

More information on the new expansion is available here.

Tidal Blades: Heroes of the Reef, from Druid City Games, funded on the first day of its Kickstarter campaign.  Tidal Blades: Heroes of the Reef is the first game set in a new world designed by Lina Cossette and David Forest, also known collectively as Mr. Cuddington. You may have seen their beautiful artwork in Brass: Lancashire, Santorini, Brass: Birmingham, Charterstone, Steampunk Rally, Super Motherload, Unfair, and The Grimm Forest.

In Tidal Blades: Heroes of the Reef, players are citizens of an island realm, gathering in the City of Naviri, competing to earn the title of Tidal Blade, an elite guardian of the Islands.  The tournament takes place over the course of five days.  During the day, contestants spend energy to take actions that allow them to gather resources, travel to locations to earn bonuses, and compete in challenges. During the night, contestants defend the city against a monster invasion, then upgrade their characters and prepare for the next day of contests.

Players will play one of four unique characters, each with their own special powers. Each player also has a dice pool, and the dice can be upgraded to more powerful and consistent results depending one which power they want to focus on. Dice are rolled and spent to complete challenges and defeat monsters. Some monsters will require the efforts of all players to defeat.

At the end of five days, the player with the most points is the winner, but this will not be the last you hear of these heroes because they will also be featured in the second part of this game world: Tidal Blades: The Rise of the Unfolders, that will shortly follow the release of this game.

Tidal Blades: Heroes of the Reef plays 1-4 (solo mode recently added), ages 14+ in 60-90 minutes. Contents include 4 player boards, 5 standees, 32 character cards, 16 energy discs,  54 custom dice, 3 danger dice, 40 fruit tokens, 40 shell tokens, 21 stunt cards, 5 location boards, 24 market cards, 54 challenge cards, a boat token, a round tracker, a first player token, 6 monster cards, a monster die, and 64 hit tokens.  The Kickstarter campaign offers a Deluxe Edition which includes a custom dice tray arena, highly details character miniatures, and more.  The Kickstarter campaign runs through 9 November with an expected deliver in October 2019.  Check out the Kickstarter campaign to learn more.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Horrors return anew at Arkham.  Fantasy Flight announces The Circle Undone, the fourth deluxe expansion for Arkham Horror: The Card Game.  In this campaign, investigators will dig into Arkham’s past, uncovering its history to learn more about the motives of those behind the current mysteries.  Like all deluxe expansions, The Circle Undone comes with two new scenarios and new investigator and players cards. What makes this expansion different is the inclusion of the prologue scenario “Disappearance at the Twilight Estate.”  Instead of beginning the campaign by taking your investigator straight to the first scenario, players will play as one of four people invited to an ill-fated charity event at an estate in French Hill. Each of these characters have their own unique abilities and skills, but they are not investigators and do not have a deck of additional cards. Players will have to work together in order to survive the night’s chaos and learn the secrets behind what has happened.

Featured in The Circle Undone is the new investigator Diana Stanley, a redeemed cultist who knows much about the prestigious order of the Silver Twilight Lodge, perhaps too much. Having recognized the twisted nature of the order and convinced that dark forces are in play, she works dismantled the order and frustrate their plans from the inside.  As a former cult member, Diana’s willpower is extremely weak, but her knowledge of the order protects her, allowing her to ignore or cancel many card effects.  With each successfully cancelled or ignored card, Diana grows bolder and her willpower increases to the point she can turn the Order’s attacks against itself.  Unfortunately, she carries a Terrible Secret that if ever revealed, she either forfeits her cards or suffers unspeakable horrors for each card she keeps.

Stay tuned to Fantasy Flight to learn more about The Circle Undone.

Alderac Entertainment Group (AEG) has announced Scorpius Freighter, an interesting hand management, rondel driven, space game from designers Matthew Dunstan (Elysium, Pioneer Days) and David Short (Automobiles). 2-4 players each select one of 7 factions, taking the 4 crew members specific to that faction, each with unique abilities. Each turn, players “assign” 1-2 of their crew member cards, tucking them underneath their player board. They then move one of the 3 motherships on the board in its dedicated orbit/rondel, a number of spaces equal to the number of assigned crew cards. The final landing space of the mothership determines the player’s action for the turn. However, unassigned crew still in hand give that action better, more powerful options, necessitating a balance between assigned and unassigned crew cards. If a player only has 1 unassigned crew card left, all crew are refreshed, otherwise assigned crew remain assigned for the next turn. Possible actions include upgrading crew, upgrading your ship, using your ships abilities, expanding storage space, picking up cargo, selling cargo on the side, or fulfilling government contracts. When a mothership makes a full orbit around its rondel, it confiscates cargo from the freighters, and the number of confiscated cargo cubes in motherships determines the end of the game. The player with the most victory points emerges victorious. Scorpius Freighter features beautiful artwork by Víctor Pérez Corbella (Champions of Midgard), Jay Epperson, and Matt Paquette (Mystic Vale), as well as multitudes of cards, tiles and pieces. For more details, including the full instructions, check out AEG’s website here. Scorpius Freighter will have a pre-release at Essen Spiel 2018, October 25-28.

The most successful game based on Sir Terry Pratchett’s Discworld Universe was Martin Wallace’s Discworld: Ankh-Morpork.  Despite the popularity of the game, Discworld: Ankh-Morpork fell out of print and became hard to find. The game was an obvious favorite for many Discworld fans, but even gamers unfamiliar with Discworld admired the game’s masterful mechanics, simple game play, and high replayability in a strategic game. While fans of Discworld may be saddened that Discworld: Ankh-Morpork is not returning, fans of the game will be pleased that the game is returning under a new theme.

Martin Wallace has reimplemented Discworld: Ankh-Morpork in Nanty Narking. Nanty Narking is set in Victorian London and features characters from literary works of Charles Dickens and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Player personalities include Monsieur De Sidonia, Fagin, Lord Bellinger, Lord Holdhurst, Lord Balmoral, Professor Moriarty, and Sherlock Holmes. Each has his own victory condition, and the game ends when either the player achieves the victory condition, or if the ‘Riot’ Random Event card is drawn and its conditions are met, or when the draw pile runs out.  Placing followers and buildings on the map establishes control over certain areas of the city, not only advancing players closer to their victory condition but also providing them additional abilities afforded by the control of the city area.

Nanty Narking features many upgraded components: a beautifully illustrated gameboard map of Victorian London, all new card artwork matching the new theme and featuring other literary characters of Dickens and Doyle, highly detailed plastic miniatures, and metal coins (included for Kickstarters).

Nanty Narking plays 2-4 players, ages 14+, in about 60 minutes. Contents include game board, 91 plastic miniatures (4 gentlemen, 24 hotels, 4 horse guards, 12 trouble makers, and 3 new citizens), 132 cards (101 action cards, 12 event cards, 12 city area cards, and 7 personality cards), rulebook, 4 player aids, 1 d12 die, and 50 cardboard counters (metal coins for Kickstarter backers).

The Kickstarter campaign runs through 20 September with an expected delivery in October 2019.  Go to Kickstarter campaign learn more about Nanty Narking.

Plaid Hat Games announces Gen7: A Crossroads Game.  In Gen7 places players on an international colony ship, 142 years into a 210-year journey.  Thirteen generations will be born on the vessel before it reaches its final destination, and for six generations, everything has gone as planned.  The players are the crew of the 7th generation.  Together, the crew must work together to maintain and pilot the ship towards its destination and preserve the mission of the colony.  However, each crew member also has his or her own objective that may not be in everyone else’s best interest. In the lonely expanse of space, paranoia and intrigue play out aboard an interstellar ark.

Gen7 is a narrative game.  The game is played over the course of seven episodes, and each episode defines each player’s goal.  Accomplishing those goals can help players advance in rank and gain new perks to perform their job better.  However, victory is not won by accruing the highest individual score or rank; it is the players’ actions that will determine how the story ends and whether victory is achieved. The fate of the human species lies in their hands.

Gen7: A Crossroads Game plays 3-4 players, ages 14+, in 60-90 minutes.  Contents include:

  • 130-page Plot Book
  • 1 Rulebook
  • 12 Board Tiles
  • 4 Player Barracks Sheets
  • 370 Standard Cards
  • 52 Mini Cards
  • 14 Divider Cards
  • 25 six-sided dice
  • 6 eight-sided dice
  • 4 twelve-sided dice
  • 108 Resource Markers
  • 50 Status Markers
  • 4 Merit Track Markers
  • 4 Hibernation Markers
  • 3 Round Track Markers
  • 1 Logic/Instinct Track Marker
  • 1 Bookmark Token
  • 1 First Player Token
  • 1 Officer Spotlight Token
  • 9 Envelopes – Stuffed with Secrets

Stay tuned to Plaid Hat Games for previews of the Gen7 over the coming weeks.  Gen7 is available for pre-order now.

Arcane Wonders has two new games coming soon to game stores.

First is RWBY: Combat Ready, a cooperative game for 2-5 players set in the world of the popular animated series RWBY.  Each player plays as one of the show’s main characters – Ruby, Weiss, Black, Yang, and Penny – in a scenario against one or more villains seeking to destroy the world of Remnant. With each victory, players earn experience they can use to upgrade their abilities and powers for the next battle.  Victory is achieved when all the villains in a campaign are defeated.  Each character has her own starter deck of special abilities and powers and unique upgrade cards and ultimate attacks cards.  Likewise, each villain is unique and may hove their own objectives and minions to challenge the players. Game components from the cards to player boards contain original artwork true to the RWBY animation series.

RWBY: Combat Ready plays 2-5 players, ages 14+, in about an hour.  Contents include scenario book, 5 player miniatures, 5 player tracker scrolls, 5 player starter decks (30 cards each), 5 semblance tokens, 1 play board/villain board, 3 villain decks (26 cards each), 3 minion decks (18 cards each), 18 objective cards, 1 die, 24 plastic upgrade cubes and various chipboard status/damage tokens.

RWBY: Combat Ready was kickstarted last September and with an expected delivery of late July 2018.

Next is Goodcritters, the latest addition to the Dice Tower Essentials line. In Goodcritters, players are animal characters and members of a criminal organization dividing out the loot from their latest heist.  The player acting as the boss of the organization determines how to split the loot, but if the split does not satisfy most of the other players, a new boss may be selected to head the organization.  Players not only vote to accept the distribution of loot, these criminals may skim loot from the loot pile, rob other players, or guard against such actions to take loot from attacking players.  Getting rid of the boss adds more loot to the pile.  The crime boss needs to keep enough of his or her gang happy to remain in power, but in the end, the player with the most loot is the winner.

Goodcritters plays 4-8 players, ages 12+, in about 30 minutes.  Contents include 140 Loot Cards, 40 Action Cards, 40 Payoff Cards, 1 The Fuzz! Card, 8 Threat Markers, 1 Boss Marker, 16 Payoff Tokens, 9 Plastic Stands, and rulebook.

Learn more about Goodcritters at Arcane Wonders.  Look for the game in stores near you in September 2018.

 

Mars is hot… literally. Most of the time, except for when it is really cold.  But it is also hot as a theme in boardgaming right now, and Terraforming Mars is the leading the pack. Since its release in 2016, it launched straight to the top of the BoardGameGeek rankings and has stayed there, currently sitting in the #4 position amongst all other games.  With that popularity comes expansions, and a move out and away from the surface of Mars.  Terraforming Mars: The Colonies will be the fourth explansion for the game and will expand out into the rest of the solar system to put space stations in the void and on the moons of other planets. It follows the other Terraforming Mars games and will play with 1-5 players in 2 hours. It is currently scheduled to release 2018-10-15 with no word on if or when pre-orders will be available.