If you’ve ever liked low-budget films, have you also every wondered how fun it would be to make them? There’s a carefree joy to them that’s infectious. Movie Empire, designed by Karsten Schulmann and featuring art by Allan Ohr, reminds me a lot of that, and it’s now on Kickstarter. If you’ve every actually wanted to try your hand at making B-movies, or if you just like classic movies tropes and worker placement games, this project will be worth the look.
“Movie Empire is a mix of worker placement and set collection for 1-4 players. And as Hollywood is a shark tank, you have 2 styles of play with the (completely optional!) black dossier variant, that adds a take that mechanic to the gameplay. Let the clubbing and stabbing commence!”
Mechanically speaking, it’s built on solid tried-and-true mechanisms and proudly lacks an auction mechanic, so that alone is attractive to particular tastes. However, it’s not just all that wrapped up in a fun theme – It’s got a solo mode and optional variants too! The illustrations are fun and spoofy, so there’s a lot here to like. Seeing that this game has already reached it’s funding goal, there’s more than enough people who agree with me! If you would like to learn more about Movie empire, check out it’s Kickstarter page for more information, rules, FAQs, community feedback, and updates.
Ares Games is joining forces with Spaceballoon Games to distribute the Euro-style board game Brides & Bribes in the United States and non-European countries. Brides & Bribes is a worker placement and resource management board game for 2-5 players. The game is set in Genoa during the Renaissance period where each player assumes the role of one of five families struggling to increase their power and become the new Doge – Lord of the city.
Brides & Bribes uses an innovative hidden worker placement mechanic, which gives players the feeling of being part of a Renaissance Genoa full of intrigue and deception. Using a deck building system, players hire new employees, growing their power during the game.
In each round, players secretly plan to send a family member with the right skills into the Genoese boroughs to perform one of the five possible actions: hire new employees, collect money, get new workers, increase influence points or convince the local Lord that their family is worth a marriage with his beautiful daughter.
Brides & Bribes was created by Andrea Gallazzi, Elisa Lenardi, Pietro Navarotto, and published by Spaceballoon Games. It was originally funded on Kickstarter in late 2016 and shipped to Kickstarter backers in late 2017, but it was not distributed to retail in the USA.
The distribution of Brides & Bribes by Ares Games will start in April 2019.
Elf Creek Games is re-releasing their cooperative, worker placement game Atlantis Rising. The gods are angry with the Atlanteans and are trying to destroy their island- but the leaders of Atlantis have other ideas! Using worker placement and resource management strategies use what you collect to build 10 machines to thwart the gods and save the island of Atlantis from imminent destruction. The stunning artwork of Vincent Dutrait, and the ‘race against the game’ intensity will have you returning to Atlantis Rising again and again!
Atlantis Rising is on Kickstarter until November 30, 2018 and the game is available in standard and deluxe editions.
Grey Fox Games brings more goodness from Midgard. Set in the same universe as Champions of Midgard, currently sitting at #103 on Board Game Geek, Reavers of Midgard places players once again as leaders of a Viking clan in search for glory. While, at first, this new game features some similar mechanics as its sister game – dice rolling combat, worker placement, and set collection – these mechanics are used differently along side a card drafting mechanism to build engines toward victory. One of the differences in Reavers of Midgard is the single worker each player may place that activates an action all the other players get to take, but the closer the other players are to the acting player, the more beneficial the action. Reavers are a new addition to the Midgard universe, and they are represented by beautifully illustrated cards that players can recruit. Each Reaver immediately provides the recruiting player dice to add to their player board (which is depicted as a Viking Longship). Additionally, each Reaver can be used in one of three ways – Rally, which adds more dice to your player board; Lead, which activates abilities printed on the player board that aligns with the card’s faction symbols; and Specialize, which triggers special actions on the player board anytime a corresponding action is played by any player. Every decision has an effect on other players. The rest of the game features all the things that Vikings do: conduct raids, pillage farms, conquer territories, battle sea serpents, and fulfill prophecies – all to bring glory to the clan. The player with the most glory at the end of six rounds is the winner.
Reavers of Midgard plays 2-4 players in about 90 minutes. For Kickstarter backers, most of the components will be upgraded to wooden tokens. The final design of the tokens for the retail version does not appear to have been completed as of this report. The Kickstarter campaign runs through 20 November with an estimated delivery in June 2019. Check out the Kickstarter campaign to learn more.
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.
Belfort was originally published in 2011 and has been out of print for a long time. Tasty Minstrel Games (TMG) is bringing it back in a new updated format with brand new content and extra table appeal. In addition, Belfort: The Expansion Expansion, which is also out of print, is also being reprinted as part of the new Kickstarter campaign.
Belfort is a worker placement/area control game in which 2-5 players collect resources and use them to create buildings and maintain control over city districts. Elves, Dwarves and Gnomes must work together and in conjunction with the town guilds to build the small village of Belfort into a bustling city!
For those of you who already own everything Belfort there is to own, a NEW Expansion! – Belfort: The New Expansion – with never before seen content is in development. This new expansion will be completely compatible with any edition of Belfort that was previously published.
Jay Cormier and Sen-Foo Lim, the designing duo known as the Bamboozle Brothers, are back again to create this new expansion content. In addition, the original artist, Josh Cappel, is working on the art for the expansion as well as revisiting the original Belfort art.
“We are working hard to make sure this edition will be truly something special and will be a welcome addition to the collections of those who have played the game before and those who are brand new to the experience.”
The new expansion needs a name
TMG has not put an official name on the new expansion yet and they are looking for help from backers. On the Kickstarter campaign page, you can take a look at the rules and offer up what you think would be the perfect name for the Belfort expansion. Once the campaign ends, TMG will make a final decision on the name.
The Belfort 10th Anniversary Edition campaign doesn’t have any Stretch Goals. TMG has chosen to pre-load it with component upgrades including metal coins and painted wood.
The Kickstarter campaign is fully funded and runs until October 20th. Several pledge levels are available for those new to the Belfort world who want to go all in as well as those who only want to upgrade their components or get the expansion.
Watch some Dice Tower Coverage of Belfort as well as Belfort: The Expansion Expansion.
Delve into dark fantasy and please the Necromancer with Dark Domains a euro-mechanic, worker placement game. Take on the role of a secretly evil city leader who is trying to build your domain and transform it into a place of darkness and evil. Use minions, spells and more to strengthen your domain and cripple your enemies. Collect resources and take actions to become as evil as you can before you die. But beware, the Torin Company adventurers, a conglomeration of exasperating do-gooders are out to thwart your plans, destroy your efforts and break down your domain! Be the most evil at the time of demise and you will have found favor in the eyes of the Necromancer and will exist as one of the everlasting undead.
Dark Domains is on Kickstarter until September 30, 2018.
Even in today’s market where there are more and more games to choose from than ever before, Days of Wonder releases still feel exceptional. Their quality control to deliver sweet and beautiful family-weight games is second-to-none and they’re always bringing something new to the realm of “gateway” weight games. Their newest title, The River, follows this trend bringing an interesting blend of tile placement, resource management, and worker placement in a quick, clean, charming package. Designed by Sébastien Pauchon and Ismaël Perrin, it plays 2 to 4 players and is expected to be available in time for Essen this October, later to hit retail in November. As described in Days of Wonder’s announcement:
“In the game, you embody pioneers embarking down a river in search of a new lands to settle. As you explore the untouched frontier, you will have to work twice as hard to manage your workers as they start to settle down along the way. The player with the most impressive settlement will be declared the winner!”
I’m excited to see such a blend of mechanics enter at this gaming level, because I feel that there needs to be more gateway worker placement games than Stone Age that can do something a bit new with it. While resource management itself is nothing revolutionary, how that interacts with the tile placement here is unique since new tiles have to progress down the titular river and they cover up resources you’d been using up until that point. Deciding which tiles to pick at what time is just as important as where to place workers, and on top of that there are buildings that can be bought and reserved much like the cards in Splendor. There is a good mix here, and it’ll be a highlight of Essen to see how well it’s received. If you’re interested in learning more about The River, be sure to check out Days of Wonder’s news post and also their product page which features the full rules in 6 languages!
It has been ten years since the exceptional worker placement game Stone Age burst onto the board gaming scene. For ten years, players have sent their stone age workers out to collect wood, stone, and gold to attain higher levels of knowledge and build sturdier structures for a better civilization. Ten years later, winter has come and adds new challenges to add to the game. The Stone Age Anniversary will be a limited edition and will include upgraded components and a beautiful double-side board. It will also include new options for playing in the bitter cold of winter. Stone Age Anniversary is available for pre-order now and will be available in Q4. Go to Z-Man Games to learn more.
This updated version of The Ancient World, features new cover art, updated components new and revised titans and even expanded gameplay.
The following design features take the game to a gorgeous new deluxe level:
- Numbered, limited-edition boxes
- “Ryan Laukat’s “signature” printed in metallic ink
- Larger, double-sided player boards
- Updated game board, district and empire cards
- Metal coins!
“In an ancient world forgotten by time, enormous titans terrorize the land. Five tribes have been fleeing from the titans for centuries, but things are about to change. Growing city-states pledge to end the reign of terror, determined to take on the titans and make the world a safer place for all. Each city-state competes to attract the tribes, eager for the strength of the combined peoples, with the hope that the titans can be defeated once and for all.”
The Ancient World mixes card drafting, set collection and worker placement mechanism as players compete to grow the largest and most influential city-states, measured by owned tribe banners. Players take turns sending citizens to take special actions or using military cards to attack titans. Banners are collected via empire cards as well as by defeating titans. Victory points are gained for sets of tribe banners and after six rounds, the player with the most VPs wins.
The Kickstarter campaign runs until September 8th. The game is expected to ship in June 2019. Backers can choose between two pledge levels. If you own the original game, you can make due with just an upgrade pack (and perhaps some sweet metal coins). Players new to the game can go all in for the entire 2nd edition pledge.
The Dice Tower reviewed the original version of The Ancient World and you can see what Sam and Tom said here.
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