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Z-Man Games Teases Pandemic Legacy Still More

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In March 2015, I posted a long preview of Pandemic Legacy, a design by Matt Leacock and Rob Daviau that Z-Man Games and licensing publishers will release in ten languages around the world on October 8, 2015. That preview conveys some of the details of the game and how it differs from the original Pandemic.

Z-Man Games has now released a bunch of teaser images — and one video trailer — for Pandemic Legacy, and things don't look exactly as I remember! Details of gameplay are still under wraps until that debut date, but here's a taste of what's coming:

One of the game's characters, with space to record what happens during play


Upgrades represent training or experience for your character


Civilians? I don't recall seeing civilians before. What do they do?


Part of the world you must patrol, with room for stickers that record...what?


Your nemeses; they don't look unhealthy, but cubes are stealthy that way


Things change over the course of a year, with multiple objectives confronting your team


The game itself changes over time, with new rules coming into play


Virus tokens and tokens for other things


The viruses get their own space on the board; why?


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HABA Prepares Games from Kramer/Kiesling, Dorn & Kloß for Spiel 2015

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• German publisher HABA surprised gamers at Spielwarenmesse 2015 with the announcement of Phara-oh-oh!, a new edition of Gulo Gulo from the design team of Kramer, Grunau, and Raggan that's now available (or nearly so) in Europe and the U.S.

Well, prepare for another shock as HABA is moving into the family game market with three titles due out at Spiel 2015. (The yellow boxes of children's games will still be very much present from HABA, but they're now being supplemented with games primarily aimed at an older audience.)

Adventure Land from Wolfgang Kramer and Michel Kiesling reminds me of Goldland, a Kramer solo design from 2002, but I think that's just the square grid talking to me. Details on the gameplay for all of these titles is practically non-existent right now, but here's what we have about the setting:

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Rich cities, vast forests, and rugged mountain ranges dominate the country — but dangers lurk in the foggy areas around the river, and only the bravest adventurers dare to face the challenges. When you move your adventurer tactically and bravely fight the fog creatures in Adventure Land, you'll win the favor of the king!

The game Adventure Land includes three adventures: "The Fellowship", "The Magnificent", and "Escape to the Cities".

I'm guessing that by "adventure", HABA means "starting configuration" as I find it hard to believe that this game could be played at most three times, but we'll know more soon enough.




Rüdiger Dorn's Karuba is briefly described as a puzzle-style game that everyone plays at the same time. Less briefly, we have this description:

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Finally! After a long boat trip, the treasure hunters have reached the island of Karuba and can go on the hunt for hidden treasures. Who will lead their expedition team along the smartest route through the jungle trails, pay attention to the other players, and keep an eye out for gold and crystals along the way? The most important thing in Karuba is to start running in time as the first players will secure the most valuable temple treasures!




• The final family game from HABA (for now) is Spookies from Beasty Bar designer Stefan Kloß, a dice game that isn't so much about pushing

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The haunted house looks even scarier than usual in the light of the full moon. The four brave friends and their dog dare to enter the haunted house, but who dares to climb the highest in Spookies?

Caution: Dice maneuvers that are too risky may take you further away from victory, so determine your own level of risk in your mission to collect as many "Spookies" as possible while you still can!


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Mon Aug 31, 2015 2:27 pm
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Crowdfunding Round-up: Guns & Steel, Caverns & Pirates, and Cats & Lobotomies

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• Let's get right into this week's batch of games on the crowdfunding platforms, starting with the ever-so-appealing Trove: The Crystal Caverns from Patrick Leder, David Somerville and Leder Games. The primary hook in this 2-4 player asymmetric game is that the game includes four "characters" — knight, goblins, dragon and cave — and each plays differently. From the description: "Each role has its own powers, pieces, and paths to victory...and there can be only one winner." (KS link)

• Alexander Lauck's mission-driven pirate game The Curse of the Black Dice, due out at Spiel 2015 from Board&Dice, is funding on Polish site Wspieram.to and you can back the game there to preorder it for pick-up in Essen — or just to buy it. (Wspieram.to link)

• The microgame Soccer 17 from Jack Darwid Games includes only seventeen cards, yet supposedly allows players to recreate a football match on their table. What also caught my eye about this KS project is the founder's location in Indonesia, mostly because we have an Indonesian exchange student in the house right now. Kickstarter projects can now be started from almost anywhere, it seems. (KS link)

• I've played Jesse Li's Guns & Steel a couple of times, and it's a clever deck-builder that can also be incredibly brutal to those who fall behind in the growth of their card-based civilization. Now Grail Games is partnering with original publisher Moaideas Game Design on a revamped version of the game to make it accessible to those not attending Spiel 2015 — (update) but only those in Oceania and southeast Asia as the project has sold its limit to buyers in other locations. (KS link)

• Jeremy Commandeur's Booze Barons from Overworld Games challenges 3-9 players to make and sell booze (in the game, mind you) during the Prohibition Era, with players trying to conceal their mob identity so that they don't get ratted out. (KS link)

• A different take on mobssters, one that involves tiny bodies and large heads, comes courtesy of Marc Di Stefano and Nice Games with chibiMob, which consists of six mob modules (Yakuza, Mafia, Triads, Posse, Jewish Mob, and Russian Mob), with the various mobs allowing for play variety and larger player counts. (KS link)

• I don't normally cover digital games in this space, but Tabletopia is not a game, so it gets a pass. Instead Tabletopia is a digital platform that allows people to play games on it, and while that doesn't sound like anything new or revolutionary, the nature of Tabletopia differs from what you find on iOS or Android devices (while also allowing you to play games on those devices as well as on PCs and Macs). Tabletopia is a sandbox system that allows designers and publishers to create digital representations of their game designs so that others can play those games wherever they are in the world. No AI is present, and rules enforcement is non-existent; this is a digital platform that mimics exactly what you'd find in a game box, and more than one hundred games — including Imperial Settlers, Zooloretto, and Tigris & Euphrates — have already been licensed for the system. (KS link)




BattleCON, a two-player fighting game with tons of characters and iterations and variants from Brad Talton and Level 99 Games, is going digital, with cross-platform play being accessible online as well as on Mac, PC, iOS, and Android devices. (KS link)

Lobotomy from Titan Forge Games posits that players are phobia-ridden patients in an abandoned mental hospital who must escape as quickly as they can, despite the delusions they keep confronting along the way. (KS link)

Less from Aleksandr Starovojtov and Inventedfor.com has, as suggested from the title, simple rules, with each player in this abstract strategy game using three action points each turn to move their bits from one corner of the board to the other. (KS link)

• Designer Robert Burke has new dragons, abilities and battlefields to add to Drago Magi from Robert Burke Games and Grey Fox Games in Drago Magi: Expansion 1. (KS link)

• Aza Chen's super cute dexterity game Cat Tower is being released in a new edition from IDW Games and Pandasaurus Games. This is not in any way a strategic game, but I don't think you could mistake it for one. Instead this is a game you break out at a café because you want to play something light and meet new people, which you will since others will inevitably asking what you're playing.

With the project now having reached its funding goal, Pandasaurus is adding copies of Cat Tower Lite and Cat Tower Plus to each shipment. Despite all the positives, Nathan McNair from Pandasaurus told me at Gen Con 2015 that he was bummed that they could not recreate the pop-up cat ears on their box while still having the game produced at a reasonable price point. (KS link)

Editor's note: Please don't post links to other Kickstarter projects in the comments section. Write to me via the email address in the header, and I'll consider them for inclusion in a future crowdfunding round-up. Thanks! —WEM
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Sun Aug 30, 2015 1:00 pm
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Odin's Ravens Flies Again, Courtesy of Osprey Games

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Let's set the WABAC machine to 2013: A new edition of the long out-of-print two-player game Odin's Ravens from Thorsten Gimmler was announced, and many huzzahs were heard. A funding campaign was launched on Kickstarter and fulfilled to the tune of $22,559 — then project founder Seth Nemec from Works, Ltd. disappeared and no one ever received a thing.

Now UK publisher Osprey Games has picked up the license, announcing a new edition of Odin's Ravens (MSRP $24/£17) with art from Swedish fantasy artist Johan Egerkrans. In a press release announcing the title, Gimmler says, "I am very proud that my game will once again be available, and excited by the opportunity to present a reworked version of the rules that I think old and new fans will enjoy. I love the artwork from Johan Egerkrans." I agree — the new look of the game is far more professional and attractive that what was shown from Works, Ltd.

As for those who previously backed the KS from Works, Ltd., Osprey Games' Games Manager Philip Smith says, "While we have no connection to the Odin's Ravens Kickstarter, the simple fact is that a lot of people who supported the game had been stung. Right from the start of our discussions, we knew that we wanted to do the right thing by those backers, and I am very pleased to be able to say that we are going to be offering a free copy of the game to anyone who backed the Kickstarter. Regrettably, we do have to charge shipping, but we're delighted the backers can finally get the game they deserve."

Osprey's Joseph McCullough adds, "We felt that by taking on the game, we took on a bit of the responsibility of its history." Osprey plans to announce how backers can receive their copy closer to the game's February 2016 release date.

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Thu Aug 27, 2015 3:30 pm
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Ticket to Ride Keeps Rolling to the United Kingdom and Pennsylvania

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At Gen Con 2015, the North American branch of Asmodee held its annual press event to highlight a number of forthcoming releases from the publishers that it distributes: Doctor Panic from Repos Production, Kemet: Ta-Seti from Matagot, T.I.M.E Stories (sigh...) from Space Cowboys, and many others. Being the in-touch news guy that I am, I had heard of nearly everything on display at the event — except for the one thing that we could not take pictures of because the artwork was not yet finished. So frustrating! Thankfully, I could still write a bit about it:




Today, Days of Wonder has officially unveiled (taking a breath) Ticket to Ride Map Collection: Volume 5 – United Kingdom & Pennsylvania, a double-sided game board from designer Alan R. Moon that works as an expansion for either Ticket to Ride or Ticket to Ride: Europe. Some details about the gameplay in this item:

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The United Kingdom half of this map collection introduces the concept of technology to TtR. At the start of the game, players can build only one- and two-train routes and only in England. By spending locomotives (i.e., wild cards), players gain the ability to build routes three trains long or longer, in addition to being able to build ferries across water or build train routes in Scotland, Wales and elsewhere. Players can also buy bonus cards that allow them to score extra points for taking certain actions during play.


In a press release for this collection, Adrien Martinot, General Manager at Days of Wonder, said, "You need Locomotives to buy Technologies, but you also need them to claim vital routes on the map. Finding the proper balance between your Technologies and the expansion of your railroad network is the key to victory!" With locomotives being so key for this map, the expansion includes a new set of 116 train cards for use with the UK map with a slightly different ratio of trains to locomotives compared to the base game. The UK map, designed for 2-4 players, also has 57 tickets and 47 technology cards.




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The Pennsylvania half of this map collection adds a share mechanism to the basic TtR game. Each time that a player completes a route, they claim a share of one of the companies depicted next to that route. At the end of the game, whoever holds more shares of a company than all other players receives points as a reward.

Yes, those who have wanted a touch of Union Pacific in their Ticket to Ride can finally have their wish, with the PA map — designed for 2-5 players — having 50 tickets and 60 share cards.

Oh, and before anyone complains about the spelling on Pittsburgh on the PA map, be sure to check out this history of how the city's name has changed over time. For the years in which Ticket to Ride is set, the names are spot on. As for the placement of the cities, well, I'll let you figure that out for yourself.

Ticket to Ride: UK/PA, which carries a $40/€35 MSRP, debuts at Spiel 2015 in October, with a European release shortly thereafter and a release elsewhere in the world by the end of November 2015.



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Tue Aug 25, 2015 3:00 pm
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New Game Round-up: Convoy Rides Again, Colosseum Reborn & Revolver Reloaded

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Portal Games plans to release a second edition of Ignacy Trzewiczek's The Convoy in Q4 2015, with this new edition being titled Neuroshima: Convoy to emphasize its place in the world of Neuroshima Hex. For this new edition of the game, "confusing icons were replaced with clear text describing the card action, and gameplay was streamlined by removing the special abilities of individual city boards", according to a press release from Portal. As for what the game's about, here's a summary:

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Neuroshima: Convoy is an asymmetric two-player card game set in the post-apocalyptic world of Neuroshima. One player commands the convoy of powerful robots, and his goal is to reach New York and turn it into ashes. The player has a deck of 35 cards: robots of Moloch (such as the Gauss Cannon, Clown, or Juggernaut), modules to attach to the robots (Network module, Kasparov module), and special cards (such as Push back, or Move). He plays those cards in the cities he passes while moving toward NY, trying to turn human settlements into dust while preparing for the final battle.

The other player commands the Outpost troops, attacking the convoy and trying to slow it down. The Outpost deck also contains 35 cards: soldiers (such as Runner or HG), buildings (such as Bunker or EMP Cannon), and many special cards (Move, Retreat, Medic). The Outpost has to win a few battles, slow down the march of Moloch as much as possible, and prepare to welcome robots in New York City.

• I thought that I had posted about this item already, but apparently my immersion in Gen Con 2015 only made me think that I did. What am I talking about? U.S. publisher Tasty Minstrel Games has obtained the rights to Wolfgang Kramer and Markus Lübke's Colosseum, and it plans to release an "Emperor's Edition" of the game. In the words of TMG's Michael Mindes, "This will be something like a collector's edition at a higher price and with higher quality components. With the cost of manufacturing being so high on such a game, we will be Kickstarting the game", with that Kickstarter launching on Oct. 27, 2015.

• Rob Daviau's V-Wars from IDW Games and Pandasaurus Games is due out Dec. 18, 2015, according to ACD Distribution.

• I wrote about J. Alex Kevern's Daxu from White Goblin Games in May 2015, and the Dutch publisher has a number of other releases in the works — twenty in all for the Benelux market — with most of those being Dutch versions of games from other publishers.

As for games in which it controls the look of the finished product, here are four games on the horizon from WGG, starting with a new edition of Néstor Romeral Andrés' tile-laying game Hong, previously self-published through nestorgames. A short description: "Two players – MORE and LESS – share a common pool of identical squared pieces depicting two dragon heads and one dragon segment. A hong is a straight line of one or more segments with a dragon head on each end. The MORE player must create as many hongs as possible, while the LESS player must prevent that many hongs from being created." This edition of Hong features new artwork, a double-sided game board (Castle and Garden), and a mini-expansion (Lair of the Seven Great Dragons).

White Goblin Games also plans to release a new version of Bruno Faidutti and Serge Laget's Kheops, which first appeared in 2008 in an edition from Tilsit that few people probably ever saw. This new edition incorporates several rule revisions while featuring new art from Josh Cappel. An overview of the game:

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In Kheops, players are rival architects taking part in the building of the great pyramid. In turn, player place tiles (rooms and corridors) and pawns (workers, priests, mummy, and even pharaoh) on the pyramid building site. Of course, some tiles have special features, like sarcophagi or curses. There are even rumors of rotating corridors and secret networks.

When the pyramid is built, the player controlling the longest networks is named Pharaoh's architect, while his rival is fed to the crocodiles.

Two other items coming from WGG in 2016 are expansions for Mark Chaplin's Invaders and Revolver 2: Last Stand at Malpaso, this latter title being co-designed by Leigh Caple. More specifically, Revolver Expansion 2.1: The Savage Guns is now due out in early 2016.
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Crowdfunding Round-up: A Rogues' Gallery of Repeat Creators

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It wasn't until I had penned this entire post that I realized every single project mentioned is from a repeat creator. Miles Beckett calls this breed of person a "serial entrepreneur" and writes about how success begets success. While he's not specifically talking about crowdfunding — or board games — the principle would seem to apply. Does this mean the KS scene is starting to consolidate? Are first-time creators at a bigger disadvantage than they were, say, two years ago? Enough philosophizing — on to the games!

Red Raven Games is (out)back with Dingo's Dreams, the publisher's tenth project since appearing on the crowdfunding scene nearly four years ago. For the first time, erstwhile one-man band Ryan Laukat is publishing someone else's design. That someone is veteran Alf Seegert, who describes the game as a cross between Bingo and Labyrinth. In case you couldn't tell from the signature brushstroke style and characteristic orange hues, Laukat is still handling illustration duties. Dreamy! (KS link)

• If you're more into felines than canines, check out Cat Tower, a dexterity stacking game. The game was originally self-published in Taiwan by designer Aza Chen in late 2013. Roughly two years later, the game has been picked up for US distro by IDW Games / Pandasaurus Games, and they've turned to KS to see which way the cat jumps in the North American market. It's the first game I can remember to sport its own product jingle! (KS link)

One Night Ultimate Vampire is the latest addition in the hit social deduction series from Ted Alspach and the familiars at Bezier Games. It functions as a standalone game but is also fully compatible with One Night Ultimate Werewolf. The box has 14 new roles and rules for "epic battles" — villagers vs. werewolves vs. vampires. Now Bezier just needs to get ahold of General Mills, so we can get official Count Chocula and Fruit Brute roles. Thank me later, Ted. (KS link)

• Maybe classic Universal monsters aren't your style; what about the under-the-bed variety, à la Pixar's Monsters, Inc.? That's the vibe I get from Flippin Monsters by designers Erin McDonald and Christian Strain. It's the newest offering from Kraken Games and the first to live up to the publisher's name, with the inclusion of a kraken. The gameplay flips the script by mashing together set collection, memory, and deck-building in an unconventional way. (KS link)

• In what may be among the unlikeliest of pairings, designer Richard Garfield has teamed up with KS juggernaut Queen Games to bring you Treasure Hunter, a game of drafting and blind bidding. It's the designer's first brand-new design to be published since mid-2013. Doesn't seem that original, but perhaps it's got some of that Garfield magic. Will it translate to a breakout hit? Make your predictions in the comments. (KS link)

Level 99 Games and designer D. Brad Talton, Jr. have committed a lot of resources to the BattleCON card game system, their flagship product and the game that launched the company onto KS over four years ago. Having put out several expansions and a new entry-level box set, they're taking the next logical step: digital. BattleCON Online is coming to PC, Mac, iOS, and Android. If you were worried for the future of BattleCON when the new EXCEED fighting system was announced, fear no more! (KS link)

• In Elad Goldsteen's Prime Time, you get to roleplay as the tycoon of a television network. This newest title from Golden Egg Games, despite its euro sensibilities, looks to provide fertile ground for all sorts of pop culture references. Illustrator Naomi Robinson has lent her skills to the game's art and graphic design. The KS video is uncommonly watchable and well produced — no doubt because it was put together by Paul Grogan. KS creators, hire that guy! (KS link)

• There's talk of the death of the microgame, but don't tell that to David Miller, who is publishing Mint Tin Mini Apocalypse through his subQuark imprint — and this one really is about as micro as you can get as it fits into a tin you'd normally find holding Altoids. This is David's second project for his unique Mint Tin series of games, and, if the funding level is any indication, it certainly won't be the last. (KS link)

• A couple of years ago, Tasty Minstrel Games funded a spate of microgames, even batching them together in production. Now, Minion Games looks to be attempting something similar. Sun, Moon, & Stars is a game of deduction from Eric Jome, one of Minion's minions who has contributed to the development of several of their titles over the years. The game will be batched in production with Perspective, which funded earlier in August 2015. (KS link)

• Jason Tagmire of Button Shy has carved out his own niche in the microgame scene. He's currently running a campaign for the three newest titles in his rapidly growing portfolio of "wallet games": Smoke & Mirrors (Chip Beauvais), Fever Chill (Kenneth Thompson), and North South East Quest (JR Honeycutt). All three games have 18 cards or fewer. The pitch is simple; open up your wallet and Jason will give you his. (KS link)


Editor's note: Please don't post links to other Kickstarter projects in the comments section. Write to me via the email address in the header, and I'll consider them for inclusion in a future crowdfunding round-up. Thanks! —WEM
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Sun Aug 23, 2015 6:00 am
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New Game Round-up: Portal Unleashes Hunters and Steel Police, Lion Games Delivers Heroes and Aliens, & Sit Down Mashes Goths with Royalty

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• Portal Games is expanding its offerings at Spiel 2015 with an expansion for Theseus: The Dark Orbit, a new faction titled Hunters from Theseus base game designer Michał Oracz and Andrzej Sosnowski, a fan of the game who had an idea that Portal liked and wanted to develop. Here's a summary of how the Hunters work:

Quote:
Theseus: The Dark Orbit – Hunters, the second faction expansion for Theseus, contains a faction that employs trickery and subterfuge to their advantage. Hiding in the shadows, the Hunters can steal bonus cards and upgrade tokens, use enemy cards through hacking, and remotely trigger their own action cards. The Hunters also have the unique ability of leaving Theseus by hiding in their capsule just outside the space station.

Theseus: The Dark Orbit – Hunters debuts at Spiel 2015 in October and is due out in the U.S. in late November 2015 with a $19 MSRP.

• Portal Games also plans to release the 3.0 version of Neuroshima Hex! Steel Police — the same army as released in 2012, but with new graphics to match the current version of Neuroshima Hex! — in October 2015.

• At Spiel 2015, Belgian publisher Sit Down! will have Ekö, an abstract strategy game from Henri Kermarrec in which 2-4 players construct towers and villages and try to take out one another's Emperor.

• Sit Down! will follow this design with the decidedly less serious Goths Save The Queen, a team-based game in which players try to match their orders with those of their teammate in order to advance, load artillery, etc. so that they can save the Queen first.

Adam Kwapiński's Heroes from Lion Games and REBEL.pl was released in mid-2015, with this title being the first fantasy-based game from Fabryka Gier Historycznych (which created the Lion Games imprint to distinguish their offerings). The generic Heroes name represents the legendary approach to the subject matter, with the players inhabiting a fantasy world and using classic elemental powers to confront classic fantasy creatures.

• The next title from Kwapiński and Lion Games, Nemesis, presents players with another classic genre situation:

Quote:
You are a part of a crew sent to explore distant planets and find valuable minerals. Your ship is heading back towards Earth, but suddenly the system wakes you all from hibernation. You soon find out that you are not alone on board Nemesis... You enter a deadly game.

In Nemesis, you take a role of a spaceship crew member (navigator, mechanic, medic, etc.), exploring the rooms on the vessel called the Nemesis (drawn and located randomly on the board) and aim to complete your secret goal. However, all the players share the main goal: Return to Earth safely, avoiding or fighting various forms of alien life appearing on the ship each round. You must work together, but if a character dies, they are not eliminated from the game; instead they join the alien side and start playing against the rest of the team. The game combines cooperation with bluffing, backstabbing and typical elements of an s-f survival horror adventure.
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Tue Aug 18, 2015 3:21 pm
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Crowdfunding Round-up: Short Campaigns, Open Road Gaming & Cthulhu Everywhere

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Gen Con 2015 crowded out the crowdfunding round-ups in this space to some degree, but now it's time to clean out the inbox and discover which projects you might see in print in 6-12 months time, starting with Ed Marriott's Scoville: Labs from Tasty Minstrel Games, a tiny expansion for Scoville that has racked up more than $50k in backing thanks in no small part to the base game also being available, too. (KS link)

• Like Scoville: Labs, Shem Phillip's Flee The Scene from Garphill Games is a short run project, giving only fourteen days to decide whether you want to be a thief who steals and fences museum goods. (KS link)

Perspective from Andrew Voigt and Minion Games runs only twelve days on KS, and this microgame challenges players to make the backs of the double-sided cards in hand match their individual goal card, and they do this by playing the action on the front side of the cards, trying to flip and move cards in their hand or their partner's hand to get things in order. (KS link)

• We have twelve days; can we go shorter? Of course we can! John Clowdus from Small Box Games has another short-run project on KS (eight days!) with Hordes of Grimoor, a two-player conflict-driven text-on-cards kind of design, as is his forte. (KS link)

The Midnight Legion: Operation Deep Sleep (KS link) from C. Aaron Kreader and Studio 9 Games is more choose-your-own-adventure game book than board game, but I love the premise, so here it is:

Quote:
You are an android agent who had been activated after hundreds of years of stasis. Your scheduled mission is still centuries in the future, but your underground base has been invaded and you are needed to defend it.

Unfortunately, it will take time for your memories to return. As you fight, trick or sneak your way up from the lower levels to the surface and your memories begin filtering back, you realize that your mission is not what you thought it was — and you may not be who you think you are.

• Nembrini and Rodrigo's Soccer City is on KS for another go — a rematch, as it were, with the result of this funding game coming down to the wire. (KS link)

MAGE Company has shot Reiner Knizia's Res Publica into the future with Res Publica: 2230AD, which moves all of the trading action into space. Somewhat randomly, this makes me wish that the characters were all pigs so that I could then follow this game listing with this video:


Well, apparently I posted that video anyway — and quite a timely one, I think, with the imminent return of Luke Skywalker to the screen before the end of 2015. I can only hope that Captain Link Hogthrob has a cameo. (KS link)

• As a trick-taking fan, I feel compelled to mention Cabaret, from designers Patrick Dillon and Adam Whitney and publisher Know Chance Games, but since I'm posting a c.f. round-up, I probably would have mentioned it in any case, as with many of the other games in this post. The hook in Cabaret is that you are not allowed to follow suit, and you can't play, you have to throw in one of your mimes, with players scoring for mimes whenever someone runs out. Other stuff scores, too. (KS link)

• The role-playing game Hipsters from Jacob Lindborg appears to be coming up as short as the pants found on said hipsters. And in case you doubted that this was a RPG, here's the pull text from KS: "Hipster [sic] is a pretentious board game of betrayal, intrigue & popularity amongst friends. Who will pretend to be the best hipster?" Because everyone wants to be a hipster, yes? No, I guess not. (KS link)

The Cards of Cthulhu: Beyond the Veil Expansion from Ian Richard and Dan Verssen Games brings Nyarlathotep into play. Good ol' Nyarlathotep. By chance we shared a taxi ride to the airport once, and she proved to be much nicer than I thought she'd be. (KS link)

• The Great Old Ones also show up in Cultists of Cthulhu from Thomas Eliot and Sixpence Games, with most of the players trying to keep a cultist in their midst from pulling whatever scheme will pull dark oozing forces to our world. (KS link)

• Wait, a third Lovecraft-inspired game is on Kickstarter right now? Really Chaos of Cthulhu from Darth Rimmer and Imp House challenges players to assemble Elders from the dice they roll and manipulate, and since this cover is the most rockin' one out of the three, that's what I'm highlighting. (KS link)


• Oh my goodness, Cthulhu has infected everything, with Theomachie: Cthulhu Mythos being an expansion for the German edition of Theomachie from Fabryka Gier Historycznych. That concept makes sense, but if we ever see an announcement for Cthulhu Qwirkle, we'll know that the trend has peaked. (Spieleschmiede link)


Nyarlathotep appears here, too; her royalty checks must be nice


Biergarten from Andrew Sallwasser and Steamboat Gothic Studio is a card-laying game that cannot be played in an actual biergarten as the cards are not coasters and will be ruined. (KS link)

Loaded Up & Truckin' from Joseph Roush and Nothing Now Games is thankfully not about drunk driving, but a pick-up-and-deliver game with players in charge of trucking companies in the U.S. (KS link)

• Perhaps the previous game can be combined in some way with Roadkill Rivals from Matt Graff and Pygmy Giraffe Games, in which you're driving through the U.S. southwest trying to create as much roadkill as possible. (KS link)

• Adam E. Daulton's Ninja Camp from Action Phase Games plays out like a super-powered Hey, That's My Fish!, with players moving their animal ninja around the dojo card field and claiming the moves on which they land. (KS link)

• Tom Rohlf's The Voting Game is a familiar-sounding party game in which you're trying to vote on who has accused you of doing particular things. (KS link)

• James Vining from Plow Games is trying to fund the 3-6 player WWII strategy card game Last Front. No, really! I'd be curious to see a WWII theater patron card game titled "Down Front!" Maybe some day... (KS link)

• Finally, designers Tim Walsh and Peggy Brown are attempting to fund a documentary about Operation designer John Spinello following a successful campaign in 2014 to raise funds for a real-life operation for the little-known designer. (Trivia question: How much was Spinello paid for the patent to Operation? The answer is given in the funding campaign.) (Indiegogo link)

Editor's note: Please don't post links to other Kickstarter projects in the comments section. Write to me via the email address in the header, and I'll consider them for inclusion in a future crowdfunding round-up. Thanks! —WEM
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Sun Aug 16, 2015 2:00 pm
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From Mage Knight to Star Trek: Frontiers with WizKids Games

W. Eric Martin
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Space adventure is probably not the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Vlaada Chvátil's Mage Knight Board Game, but WizKids Games is willing to bet that it can change your mind about that with Star Trek: Frontiers, a game from Star Trek: Attack Wing co-designer Andrew Parks that takes the core of Mage Knight and shoots it at warp speed into the Star Trek universe.

Here's an overview of the setting and game play:

Quote:
A contested region of space accessible through a known wormhole has drawn the attention of powerful forces throughout the galaxy. Both the Federation and the Klingon Empire, who share a delicate alliance at this time, have recently built outposts in the region — but now news of grave troubles brewing in the region has prompted both the Klingons and the Federation to investigate immediately.

Command your ship, recruit new crew members, earn experience points, and use your skills to confront the challenges of the Star Trek universe. Explore and face a variety of challenges on a randomly built space map using the venture tile system first introduced in the award-winning game Mage Knight.

Star Trek: Frontiers is designed for 1 to 4 players with multiple competitive, cooperative and solo scenarios. Work together to defeat hostile ships or compete to explore and uncover hidden mysteries. Players need to overcome obstacles to expand their knowledge and use their leadership as they adventure in order to be victorious in their exploration!


In a WizKids press release announcing Star Trek: Frontiers, here's what the two designers involved had to say:

Quote:
"Like the Mage Knight board game, Star Trek: Frontiers allows players to explore areas that are new and different each time they play. I can't wait for Star Trek fans to start commanding their Federation and Klingon ships as they encounter Romulan Warbirds, send carefully chosen away teams down to unknown planets, and challenge the might of the Borg," said Frontiers game designer, Andrew Parks.

"The Star Trek universe opens up a huge variety of thematic options for a designer, and I specifically hope fans of Star Trek will enjoy the work that Andrew has done to bring the system to the world of Star Trek," said Vlaada Chvátil, creator of the original Mage Knight.

Star Trek: Frontiers is due out February 2016 with an $80 MSRP.
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Fri Aug 14, 2015 7:50 pm
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