“Red Falls. Darkrock. Two towns on opposite ends of the mesa. Two towns in the middle of God’s own nowhere. You step off of the train and feel yer boots hit the red dirt as you pound the dust from yer coat. You only have iron on yer hip and a few bucks to yer name. But that doesn’t mean folks should go underestimatin’ ya. The only question to answer now is how will you make them remember yer name?”
Kolossal Games has launched Western Legends, their debut game, on Kickstarter. Western Legends is an open-world sandbox tabletop game for 2-6 players (90-120 minutes) set in the American Wild West. It is the first game design for Hervé Lemaître with art from Roland MacDonald (Stop Thief, Battle Line). In Western Legends, players can play as a number of historical figures including Annie Oakley, Bass Reeves, Crazy Horse, and Doc Holliday.
Western Legends includes 12 characters, over 200 cards, a general store to display the item cards, gold nuggets, cubes, dice, chips, miniatures and player mats. The core game also includes hand sculpted miniatures (6 characters, 6 bandits, and hopefully a sheriff if stretch goals are met) crafted by Pure Arts (Kemet, Inis).
A pledge of $60 will get you the core game and the Fistful of Extras Expansion (All Unlocked Stretch Goals). $75 will get you the core game, the Fistful of Extras Expansion (All Unlocked Stretch Goals), and The Good the Bad & the Handsome Expansion. The top tier pledge at $84 will get you the core game, the Fistful of Extras Expansion (All Unlocked Stretch Goals), The Good the Bad & the Handsome Expansion, and a 52 card poker deck. You can check out the Western Legends Kickstarter here.
Successfully Kickstarted back in 2014, Grimslingers is a sci-fi and fantasy wild west card game where you are either dueling it out from between 2 to 6 players, or working together on a campaign for 1-4 players. The game was to be self published by the creator Stephen Gibson but was later picked up by Greenbrier games to be published by them instead. As described by Greenbrier games, Grimslingers is;
A strategic, sci-fi fantasy western themed card game, featuring two different modes of play – versus and co-op. In versus, players will go head to head in teams or a free-for-all using a wide selection of spells, items and abilities.
In co-op, players will work together through a narrative campaign composed of four 60-90 minute play sessions, battling strange creatures, overcoming intense challenges, collecting loot, gaining levels and exploring a truly unique wild west.
The pledge manager for the Kickstarter just launched so there is time for you to get in on the game that way, but if not, Greenbrier Games will be bringing copies of a micro version, Grimslingers: Duel, to demo at GenCon. Grimslingers: Duel comes with everything you need to play the versus game with two people so it will serve as an introduction to the game ahead of it’s release in September of 2016. Check out the full ICv2 article for more information.
Shadows of Brimstone was a Kickstarter from 2014 which seemed to take a game like Descent, and transform it into a fantasy western game, and so far people have been enjoying it. As such Flying Frog Productions is in the process of producing more content for the game, and next on the list are enemy packs to add more enemy variety to the game.
First is a deluxe pack of the Scafford Gang, the most ruthless band of Mutant Outlaws in the Southwest! Included are 6 Scafford Gang models and 1 Colonel Scafford model to lead them into battle, 2 large Enemy Record Sheets for them, a host of new cards themed around these ruthless Mutants – including all of the Threat Cards needed to add them to your games, and 2 new Missions. Look for this pack June 2016.
Next are the Dark Stone Brutes, these nasty fellows are also a part of the Scafford Gang and have fused with the evil Dark Stone to become hulking brutes. Included are 3 large Dark Stone Brute models, the large Enemy Record Sheet and all of the Threat Cards needed to add them to your game. Look for this pack June 2016.
Next is something from out of this world, literally, in the form of Harvesters From Beyond, evil creatures that come from another dimension to harvester raw material and ancient artifacts. This Enemy Pack contains everything you need to add these terrifying, alien Harvesters to your game with 3 large Harvester models, as well as the large Enemy Record Sheet and all of the Threat Cards needed. Look for this pack July 2016.
Last are the Trederran Raiders, aliens from another world who are embroiled in a never ending war, but to fight that war they need Dark Stone and they are running out, so they have come to this world to get more. This enemy pack includes 6 Trederran Raider models as well as the large Enemy Record Sheet and all of the Threat Cards needed to add them to your game. Look for this pack July 2016.
Soda Pop Miniatures, who are most well known for their Super Dungeon Explore line, have recently launched a Kickstarter for their next minis game, Rail Raiders Infinite. Rail Raiders Infinite is a sci-fi western game (think BraveStarr cartoon) where you are a bandit on a train trying to grab the most loot and make your escape before the train makes it to the station. Each player will be their own bandit with a special power and specific figure, on your turn you will draw a High Noon card which will cause special effects for that player’s turn, and then you get to take three actions. Players can move from one adjacent car to another, if no lawbots are around you can loot the car where you flip a loot token over and take as many loot cards as indicated, or get into a showdown with the lawbots or other players. Showdowns are done through rolling poker dice and whoever comes up with the best poker hand at the end of the roll wins the showdown. Each car that you can move into indicates how many Long Arm of the Law cards as well as loot tokens are placed on that train car so some cars are tougher to rob than others, this is where you and the other bandits have to work together to take out those lawbots, but once the arrangement doesn’t benefit you anymore you can then turn on your fellow bandits. Players will keep going until the High Noon deck runs out, which at that point if you are still on the train you get captured, so you better make your escape before that happens.
The campaign is a short one having launched less than a week ago and ending in only 10 days as of the writing of this article. The funding is well past the goal and into stretch goals getting you extra stuff like more lawbot minis, more bandits to choose from, extra dice, and even plastic coins. If this sounds like something you would be interested in then head on over to the campaign page to pledge for your copy.
Poker meets worker placement in this artfully crafted 30 minute board game for 2 to 4 players. TINY box, EPIC gameplay, EVERY TIME!
Gamelyn Games is well known for their “Tiny Epic” series of games, including Tiny Epic Kingdoms, Tiny Epic Defenders, and most recently Tiny Epic Galaxies. As of Monday, January 11, 2016, the Kickstarter project for the latest addition to the series, Tiny Epic Western, has begun.
In the game, players each have a “Boss” card on which they keep track of their posse members and influence. As the Boss, each player will send his or her posse around the town, playing poker, gaining influence, and purchasing buildings. Utilizing a combination of poker and a worker-placement mechanism, players will place their posse members in different buildings to take a variety of actions to accomplish the above goals.
Each time a player sends a posse member to a location, a poker hand is played. Winning will award the player the “poker pot” and any extra influence from a “double down” spot. Players will need this influence for acquiring buildings later on in the round. The Sheriff’s Office is a unique location offering players the ability to change the value or suit of their poker card. It also offers a way to acquire an extra building each round and activate players’ 3rd posse member. When another player’s posse member is in the way of another player’s, the other player may send in his or her posse member for a duel to try and take the spot. A “WANTED” card is dealt to the winner of the last duel.
After locations and placement of posse members have been resolved, players may spend their Influence to purchase one building occupied by one of their posse members. Buildings offer victory points, abilities, and industry influence.
At the end of each round, the player who had the best poker hand at the Town Hall advances one of three industries forward in their rank. The game ends after six rounds (bullets in a revolver) and the player with the most victory points is the winner.
One copy of Tiny Epic Western includes:
- 1 Box
- 1 Rulebook
- 12 Meeples
- 1 Poker Chip
- 2 Bullet Dice
- 3 Industry Tokens
- 12 Influence Tokens
- 1 Wanted Card
- 20-Card Poker Deck
- 24 Building Cards
- 4 Boss Cards (Player Cards)
- 6 Location Cards
The Deluxe version of the game includes Kickstarter exclusive material:
- 2 Unique Boss Cards
- 2 Additional Bullet Dice
Tiny Epic Western is a game for 2-4 players ages 14 and up and plays in 30-45 minutes. As of the fourth hour of the project, it has funded at 408% of it’s target pledge goal. The Kickstarter will fund on February 6, 2016. For more information on the project, visit the Kickstarter page here.
Gangfight Games is currently running a Kickstarter for Bad Lands: Curse of the Skinwalker. Bad Lands is a co-op western horror survival game in which heroes are fighting to save the town of Blackwater Gulch from a pack of hideous were-things such as Jackalopes, Chupacabras, Werebears, Werewolves, and other nightmarish beasts.
Players will select the hero they wish to play, or players may design their own characters to play. As players move through the town defeating monsters, they can pick up loot that is either lying around or is dropped by slain beasties. Loot such as an old revolver, silver bullets, or a fancy gun belt can not only aid in helping heroes bring down these creatures, but also gives the heroes experience points (XP) in which to improve their characters.
Bad Lands offers a survival mode and an adventure mode, in which a player can serve as Gamemaster and take the heroes on a campaign.
Bad Lands is for 1-4 players and includes the following in the core set:
- 8 hero cards and pawns
- 6 heavy-duty, linen-coated board tiles
- 28 encounter cards & villain pawns
- 64 loot cards
- 6 6-sided dice
- 36 plastic pawn stands
- Dozens of tokens
- Full-color rulebook
Bad Lands: Curse of the Skinwalker has a primary funding goal of $25,000, and currently $3,792 has been raised. The finding date is March 3, 2015. For more information about this project visit the Kickstarter page HERE.
Spiel des Jahres 2014
Last week’s Dice Tower Awards went so well that it’s not surprising that other organizations have jumped on the bandwagon of naming a game of the year. No hard feelings though, I’ve heard that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
But seriously, the Spiel des Jahres (German for Game of the Year) is probably the most important award of gaming. Without this award, the gateway greats that introduced most of us into this hobby (like Ticket to Ride, The Settlers of Catan, Carcassonne, and Dominion) may not have reached the level of popularity that they currently have. And now, joining that list of classics as this year’s Spiel des Jahres winner is Steffen Bogen’s Camel Up. This game about betting on racing camels beat the other well-received nominees’ Marc Andre’s Splendor and Concept by Gaëtan Beaujannot and Alain Rivollet.
The other big award that was given out was the Kennerspiel des Jahres, which is given to the best strategy game. Rüdiger Dorn’s Istanbul, a game about trading rupees with the help of your assistants in the Turkish city formerly known as Constantinople, won this award over Mac Gerdts’ Concordia, and Rococo by Matthias Cramer, Louis Malt and Stefan Malz.
If you’re interested in any of these games, the increase in publicity from these awards often causes them to become more widely available. For example, Z-Man Games has announced that they will be releasing Camel Up in North America before the end of the year.
The Kickstarter Gold Rush
The theme of the old west is deceptively popular. On one hand, western themed games don’t seem to rake in nearly as much funding in Kickstarter projects as the zombie genre. Zombicide consistently makes well over a million dollars per campaign, and other recent games within the genre also are impressively well-received. For examples, check out the Kickstarters for games like Zombie 15’, Escape: Zombie City, and even smaller games like We Are Dead.
On the other hand, the article with the highest view count last week (other than the Spiel des Jahres announcement) was about the new western themed game on Kickstarter Wanted: The Outlaws. At the time of writing, the small game has been a modest success. Last week, Tom Vasel reviewed Spurs: A Tale in the Old West, which was another successful Kickstarter game. In an interview with Sean Brown, the president of Mr. B Games, he seemed surprised by how well the Spurs was selling. So, although these games may not receive the funding and press that more popular and bloated genres do, it’s worth noting that a lot of gamers are still interested in finding the next Bang!
What’s New with the Dice Tower?
1. Sometimes we have to admit things about ourselves that other people may not like. Case-in-point: Tom Vasel loves destruction. Last year when Board Game Breakfast first took off, Tom’s initial opening sequences in videos were innocent enough. He would do something simple, like pour milk in a bowl of dice or Ticket to Ride trains. As time went by, those cheap thrills weren’t exciting enough. He began to boil Memoir ’44 army men over the stove and smear jam over Marvel Dice Masters cards. Some people have not taken it so well.
In last week’s Board Game Breakfast, Tom defended his “misuse” of components. While Tom has talked about his component drops in previous videos, his most recent explanation does an excellent job of describing why he cooks his components, as well as his views on the value of games. You may not agree with what he says, but it is an interesting argument. Also, he’s probably never going to stop. So at the very least, if Tom ever invites you over to play a board game in the morning, you know that you probably shouldn’t let him make you breakfast.
2. Tom Vasel hosted a special Q&A segment this week, and a lot of the questions he answered focused on the big events that would be coming up within the next few weeks. Perhaps the most exciting event to look forward to is Gen Con, which will be taking place from August 14 to 17. You can look forward to a lot of previews of new games and interviews with designers, similar to the content that the Dice Tower offered during Origins Gaming Convention last month. In the more immediate future, the long-awaited Top 100 lists from frequent Top 10 and Miami Dice co-host Sam Healey and Zee Garcia will begin to be recorded this week.
Speaking of Top 10 list, a few hints were given about what to expect within the next few games. The Top 10 Fantasy Games was already recorded in front of a live audience during the Dice Tower Con. Other upcoming Top 10 include the top Queen Games and the Top 10 Milton Bradley games. Also Tom’s lips are still sealed about a Musical Episode that he’s been hinting at for a long time. Forget turning components into sandwiches, if you’re looking for game-related spectacle, you should keep a look out for that episode.