BoardGameGeek News

To submit news, a designer diary, outrageous rumors, or other material, please contact BGG News editor W. Eric Martin via email – wericmartin AT gmail.com

Archive for W. Eric Martin

1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5  Next »  [124]

Recommend
82 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide

A New Launch for Mission: Red Planet from Fantasy Flight

W. Eric Martin
United States
Apex
North Carolina
flag msg tools
admin
designer
In a March 2014 BGG News post, I included two images of Mission: Red Planet, one from co-designer Bruno Cathala and another (now missing) from co-designer Bruno Faidutti, but with elements in the images that pointed to a new version of the game being in the works, something Cathala revealed in a video interview for the video podcast "Something from Nothing".

Now Fantasy Flight Games has officially announced this new version of Mission: Red Planet, due for release in Q3 2015, and while the core of the game remains the same, this version does introduce changes — one might even say upgrades. Here's a rundown of the setting, gameplay, and what's new:

Quote:
With technology rapidly developing and the human population growing, Victorian-era Earth is in dire need of fuel, land, and other natural resources. Fortunately, automated probes sent to Mars have discovered celerium, an ore that can be combusted to produce ten thousand times more power than a steam engine, and sylvanite, the densest substance ever found. More incredibly, the probes found ice that could be used in terraforming the planet, bringing the idea of colonizing Mars even closer to becoming a reality.

As the head of a mining corporation, these minerals and ice found on Mars could make you unfathomably wealthy – if you can reach them before your competitors. You have ten rounds to send your astronauts into space, occupy the planet's most resource-rich zones, and harvest as much celerium, sylvanite, and ice as possible. At your command is a team of nine professionals. Each has a unique skill set, from helping your astronauts traverse the Red Planet to blowing up spaceships before they launch.

In each round in Mission: Red Planet, players start by secretly deploy one of their character cards, with this card determining both when they place astronauts on the spaceships awaiting launch to Mars and which special action they take during the round. Each spaceship has a specified destination, and until an astronaut sets foot in a region, no one knows which resource they'll find. Players collect resources (worth points) three times during the game, and they each have a secret mission card that might grant them additional points at game's end. During the game, players might acquire an additional mission or a research card that changes the value of what awaits on Mars.

The 2015 edition of Mission: Red Planet features the same gameplay as the original 2005 edition, but it includes:

• Components for up to six players instead of five
• Special two-player variant rules
• New action cards and revised mission and discovery cards
• Mars' moon Phobos as a new zone that astronauts can explore before possibly returning to the planet itself

This edition of Mission: Red Planet keeps the steampunk setting of the original release, but it's lost a few knobs and gears along the way, looking more streamlined in the process — streampunk, I suppose. The launch pad depicted below has puzzle connections so that you can scale its size based on the number of players, and in a neat graphic touch the rocket tiles tuck behind the staircase and open porthole.

Another big graphic change is the replacement of the tiny wooden player discs with astronaut miniatures. I also have high hopes that this game board will lie flatter than the original one. (I brought my copy to a convention in the late 2000s and someone lost the gray character cards there, so I sold it years ago and am glad that I can now replace it!)

Twitter Facebook
36 Comments
Sat Apr 25, 2015 4:42 am
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
70 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide

New Game Round-up: Building in Antiquity, Solving Murders in a Dream & Fighting in the Soviet Union

W. Eric Martin
United States
Apex
North Carolina
flag msg tools
admin
designer
• Here we go again? One of the many titles that Asmodee is bringing to market in 2015 in its role as distributor (and sometime publisher) is The Builders: Antiquity from designer Frédéric Henry and publisher Bombyx. The Builders: Antiquity is a sequel to the 2013 release The Builders: Middle Ages that can be played on its own or mixed with the original game. Here's a description of that original game:

Quote:
In The Builders: Middle Ages, the cards represent buildings or workers. Players score points (and gain money) by completing the construction of buildings, while placing a worker on a construction site costs money. Each building has four characteristics (carpentry, masonry, architecture, tilery) rated between 0 and 5, and the workers have the same characteristics valued in the same range. To complete a construction, the player must add enough workers to cover the four characteristics of the building.

Each player starts the game with 10 ecu and an apprentice. Five workers and five buildings are placed face-up on the table, with the others set aside in separate decks. On a turn, you can take three free actions, then pay 5 ecu for each additional action. The possible actions are:

• Open a site - Take one of the five buildings, place it front of you, then draw a replacement from the deck.
• Recruit a worker - Take one of the five workers, place it front of you, then draw a replacement from the deck.
• Assign a worker to a building - Pay the cost of the worker (as he won't work for free!), then place him on a building; when the building's needs are met, you earn the points and coins indicated, then flip the building over. The workers return to your pool of available labor.
• Get money - Forgo one, two or three actions to earn 1, 3 or 6 ecu.

Some completed buildings join your labor pool as they can be used to complete other buildings. As soon as a player reaches 17 points, players finish the round so that everyone has the same number of turns, then you tally points, with each completed card having a point value and each 10 ecu being worth 1 point. Whoever has the most points wins.

The Builders: Antiquity puts a few twists on the original design, such as the ability to take out loans, upgrade workers (with clear overlays), buy tools (that you assign to workers as you need them), or purchase slaves. These cards aren't shuffled into the worker deck as in the original game, but laid out in stacks that are available to players for as long as the cards last.

At Gen Con 2014, I received a preview of this game, and slaves work similar to workers in that you can assign them to buildings to help complete them, but you don't have to pay them to work since they are slaves. The drawback to using slaves in the game is that they cost you victory points and therefore make it more difficult for you to win — but during the game you can pay the cost printed on the card in order to buy that slave's freedom and convert him into a regular worker.


• Asmodee has confirmed two titles that it expects to debut at Gen Con 2015: Libellud's version of Mysterium from designers Oleksandr Nevskiy and Oleg Sidorenko and Moonster Games' RYŪ from designer Kim Satô.

Mysterium is due to reach stores in the U.S. in September 2015, and I'm working with Libellud to publish a developer diary on BGG News about what's changed and why in its version of the game. For those who haven't played, Mysterium is something of a cross between Dixit and Clue, with one player serving as a ghost who transmits opaque, dreamlike clues (akin to Dixit cards) to the other players, who must suss out the who, where and with what related to a murder that's been committed.

RYŪ will have its general release in October 2015, starting at Spiel 2015, and rules in French and English are now available on the Moonster Games website. If you don't want to read the rules, you can watch this overview video that BGG recorded at Spiel 2014. Failing that, I'll describe it as a set collection race game with a bidding element and a fair dose of screwage.

• Designer and Zvezda founder Konstantin Krivenko died in July 2014, but his legacy continues with the 2015 release of World War II: Stalingrad 1942-1943, the next title in the "Art of Tactic" line of games. Here's an overview of the setting:

Quote:
The Battle of Stalingrad (23 August 1942 - 2 February 1943) was a major battle of World War II in which Nazi Germany and its allies fought the Soviet Union for control of the city of Stalingrad in the southwestern Soviet Union.

Marked by constant close quarters combat and direct assaults on civilians by air raids, it is often regarded as the single largest and bloodiest battle in the history of warfare.

World War II: Stalingrad 1942-1943, part of the "Art of Tactic" line of games, allows players to recreate this battle. As with other games in this series, it can be played on its own or combined with any of the other titles. The game includes all of the models needed to play the scenarios in the box, but additional World War II mini kits in Zvezda's product line are fully compatible and can be used to expand the game with additional units.

I'm not a wargame guy by any means, but I can appreciate the terrifying beauty of this cover:

Twitter Facebook
44 Comments
Fri Apr 24, 2015 4:33 pm
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
60 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide

New Game Round-up: Experience Another Revolution for Junta, Dream of Being a Food Chain Magnate & Colonize with Dice for the Galaxy

W. Eric Martin
United States
Apex
North Carolina
flag msg tools
admin
designer
• The publication history of Junta from designers Eric Goldberg, Ben Grossman and Vincent Tsao feels like a mini-lesson in the nature of juntas themselves, with the publisher name and graphic design changing on the box from decade to decade but the core content — the power brokers, if you will — staying the same. No matter who is standing on the balcony, the ones pulling the strings remain the same.

Okay, maybe it's just me. For those not familiar with Junta, which is being newly released in English by Alderac Entertainment Group based on the 2013 redesign by Pegasus Spiele, here's an overview of the game:

Quote:
Players represent various office holders in the ruling Junta. Depending upon his office and the various cards he holds, each player has a certain number of votes. These are important as they must first elect El Presidente and then vote on the budget that he proposes. Here's where it can get sticky. El Presidente draws cards face down from the money deck (which varies in denomination from $1 to $3) and must propose a budget for the year, distributing the money as he sees fit amongst the various offices. Of course, loyalty to him is usually rewarded, while those pesky "thorns in his side" are usually cut off completely. The beauty of all this, though, is that El Presidente can — and most always does — keep some of the loot for himself. And since no one but he knows the value of what he drew, no one knows how much he's keeping. Suspicion is always keen.

Players may attempt to assassinate the other players by guessing where they will be from among five locations. Players who successfully assassinate another player take that player's money, as the only safe money is the money that has been deposited in a Swiss bank account, and the only way to get to the bank is to survive the assassination round.

If the players are unhappy, and there is an excuse, they can call for a coup, where the opposition players seek to take control of a majority of the power centers. Rebel players control the forces of the role which they were assigned (e.g. army, navy, air force), and players loyal to El Presidente do the same, seeking to control the strongholds until the rebellion is quelled.

The goal is to amass the greatest wealth secreted away in your Swiss bank account.

Junta will debut at Gen Con 2015 and be available through retail outlets in August 2015.


• Uli Blennemann of Spielworxx has announced that in 2016 he'll release a new title by La Granja designers Andreas Odendahl and Michael Keller that bears the working title of Dice for the Galaxy. Keller offers this short description of the game:

Quote:
All known advanced civilizations of the galaxy are on the verge of awakening to expand into the endlessness of space. Only a few resource-rich or habitable planets remain, however, so the intergalactic race towards colonization has begun to advance through all available means. Exploit your planets and develop carefully because too much pollution will slow you down. Build up valuable resources, develop advanced technologies, and be a pioneer of space flight into the far reaches of the galaxy.

The player who has colonized the most valuable planet at the end of this race and is the most technologically advanced civilization collects the most sun points and wins the game.

Dice for the Galaxy is a fast-paced and strategic civilization game, with a novel dice-draft and resource-management mechanism.

• Blennemann also notes in passing that the second edition of La Granja should be available shortly. Pearl Games, which is releasing the game in French, has stated that it expects the game to be in stores approximately May 8, 2015. Stephen Buonocore at Stronghold Games expects to have the English language edition of La Granja available in July 2015.

• In a round-up of prototypes being shown at the Gathering of Friends, I linked to a long-distance shot of Food Chain Magnate from designers Jeroen Doumen and Joris Wiersinga, who publish as Splotter Spellen, but I didn't include any details of the game. Shame on me. Here's an overview of the game, followed by two pics from Doumen of the prototype:

Quote:
"Orange juice? They want orange juice? What is the world coming to? I want commercials for burgers on all channels, every 15 minutes. We are the Home of the Original Burger, not a hippie health haven. And place a billboard next to that new house on the corner. I want them craving beer every second they sit in their posh new garden." The new management trainee trembles in front of the CEO and tries to politely point out that... "How do you mean, we don't have enough staff? The HR director reports to you. Hire more people! Train them! But whatever you do, don't pay them any real wages. I did not go into business to become poor. And fire that discount manager, he is only costing me money. From now on, we'll sell gourmet burgers. Same crap, double the price. Get my marketing director in here!"

Food Chain Magnate is a heavy strategy game about building a fast food chain. The focus is on building your company using a card-driven (human) resource management system. Players compete on a variable city map through purchasing, marketing and sales, and on a job market for key staff members. The game can be played by 2-5 serious gamers in 2-4 hours.



One meeeellion cards...


Twitter Facebook
50 Comments
Thu Apr 23, 2015 6:34 pm
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
95 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide

Links: Nominations for the Origins Awards and Dice Tower Awards, Card Smooshing & More

W. Eric Martin
United States
Apex
North Carolina
flag msg tools
admin
designer
• Nominations have dropped for the 2015 Origins Awards, and arguments about which games have been overlooked or unjustly elevated are already underway. Here are the nominees from a few of the categories:

Quote:

Members of the Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts & Design now vote on the nominees in each category — with many more categories shown at the link above — with the winners being announced during the 2015 Origins Game Fair, which takes place June 3-7, 2015.

• Nominations have also been announced for the Dice Tower Awards, with the nominees being decided by more than fifty reviewers and bloggers, and the winners will be announced June 26, 2015 at the Dice Tower Convention. From the many categories that exist, I'll highlight the nominees for the one category that subsumes most of the others:

Quote:

• A BBC article by Chris Baraniuk on placebo buttons — buttons that do nothing when you push them — tickled me for some reason. I was reminded of the frequent comments from game designers that when creating a game, you should remove options that players rarely or never choose in order to streamline the thought process required to play. Why confound people with options that aren't real options, the thinking goes — yet here's a purposeful reason for why such options exist in the real world.

One game-related excerpt from the article:

Quote:
To understand [the effect of such placebos on] people you have to go back to the early 1970s. At that time, psychologist Ellen Langer, now a professor at Harvard, was a graduate student at Yale. During a five card draw game of poker she dealt one set of cards in a haphazard order.

"Everybody," she says, "got crazy. The cards somehow belonged to the other person even though you couldn't see any of them." Langer decided to find out more about the way people regulated the playing of such games. She went to a casino where, at the slot machines, she found gamblers with elaborate ways of pulling the lever. At another time a "highly rational" fellow student tried to explain to her why tossing a pair of dice could be done in a certain way to affect the numbers which came up. "People believed that all of these behaviours were going to increase the probability of their winning," she comments.

Naturally they were wrong and for many people a simple objective proof of the matter would have been enough. But not for Langer. The strength of the gamblers' convictions was, to her, not trivial.

• Purple Pawn reports on BoardGamesMaker.com, a new game manufacturer in Hong Kong that has a huge price list that lays out the costs for everything up front, allowing a designer or publisher to choose components from the provided lists, upload artwork, and start publication — kind of like taking The Game Crafter model and converting it to an actual manufacturing run, although tokens, dice and other common game elements are not included on the price list.

• In March 2015, I linked to a video of Persi Diaconis, Professor of Statistics and Mathematics at Stanford University, explaining the best and worst ways to shuffle cards. Diaconis has now been featured in an article in Quanta Magazine about his efforts to study the randomness of the shuffling technique that he refers to as smooshing. An excerpt:

Quote:
This toddler-level technique involves spreading the cards out on a table, swishing them around with your hands, and then gathering them up. Smooshing is used in poker tournaments and in baccarat games in Monte Carlo, but no one actually knows how long you need to smoosh a deck to randomize it. "Smooshing is a completely different mechanism from the other shuffles, and my usual techniques don't fit into that," Diaconis said. The problem has tantalized him for decades.

Now he is on a quest to solve it. He has carried out preliminary experiments suggesting that one minute of ordinary smooshing may be enough for all practical purposes, and he is now analyzing a mathematical model of smooshing in an attempt to prove that assertion.

Fascinating stuff in that article...
Twitter Facebook
81 Comments
Wed Apr 22, 2015 5:43 pm
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
78 
 Thumb up
2.00
 tip
 Hide

Convention Preview for Tokyo Game Market • May 2015

W. Eric Martin
United States
Apex
North Carolina
flag msg tools
admin
designer
Game Market takes place in Tokyo on May 5, 2015 — two weeks from the date of this post — and BoardGameGeek will have a presence at the show in the form of me running around to grab whatever games I can, struggling to say more in Japanese than numbers and old karate terms that I vaguely recall, talking to designers and publishers when possible (see "struggling..."), taking pictures and video of the booths and people (when allowed) to share the experience with you, fighting off jet lag, and otherwise immersing myself in this fevered one-day event.

For those not familiar with Game Market, I invite you to read this convention report from Simon Lundström about his experience at Tokyo Game Market in November 2014. In short, Game Market takes place three times annually (twice in Tokyo and once in Osaka), and it's a game fair where many designers present their own creations in small quantities that you may or may not ever see again once the fair ends. As Lundström writes, "Some people who check out Japon Brand's booth at Spiel have complained about the games not being available after the fair. Well, Game Market is Japon Brand's booth — only about a hundred times as big."

I've been rereading posts like this one in preparation for my trip, in addition to creating a Tokyo Game Market • May 2015 Preview to track games that I've reserved, games from designers and publishers who might already have a presence outside of Japan, and games that look interesting for one reason or another. My standards for listing games are somewhat ambiguous for this first TGM Preview as I don't know enough to know all that I don't know. (If, by chance, you'll be at TGM with a game to sell, please let me know. Once we get the game in the BGG database, I can then add it to the TGM Preview.)

My enthusiasm over games from Japan might have been a tad apparent to some who read BGG News, especially given all of the preview videos that I do in the run up to Spiel, and I'm incredibly excited to attend Tokyo Game Market and see all that there is to see, especially because I'm not sure when I'll be able to do this again in the future. I look forward to sharing the experience and possibly giving you a head's up as to which games you can expect to see at Spiel or possibly elsewhere!
Twitter Facebook
21 Comments
Tue Apr 21, 2015 6:02 pm
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
58 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide

Five Tribes Welcomes a Sixth Thanks to The Artisans of Naqala

W. Eric Martin
United States
Apex
North Carolina
flag msg tools
admin
designer
Not long after Days of Wonder announced the replacement of slave cards in Bruno Cathala's Five Tribes with fakir cards, the publisher has announced an expansion for the game — the first expansion, mind you, titled Five Tribes: The Artisans of Naqala.

Of course this expansion is also designed by Cathala, and the contents of it match the summary presented in a March 2014 BGG News post. In more detail:

Quote:
Sultan wannabes should pay attention to Five Tribes: The Artisans of Naqala, an expansion for Five Tribes that introduces a new tribe to the game.

Like their fellow tribes from the base game, these artisans are represented by meeples — purple ones in this case — and players will collect them and use them during play to craft precious goods or magic items, with some of these items being worth victory points (VPs) and others unlocking special powers for their owner.

Artisans can't just craft things out of mid-air, though, so you'll need to visit the new tiles included in this expansion to allow them to perform: workshops (where the artisans craft their items) and specialized markets (where players can purchase specific merchandise that they need).

Various other bits are included in the expansion, such as an additional tile that features an impassable chasm, and this tile — as well as the included mountain markers — forces players to adapt to new landscapes when moving meeples on the board. Five Tribes: The Artisans of Naqala also includes two new Djinns.

Europe will first see Five Tribes: The Artisans of Naqala in stores in June 2015 with a €20 MSRP, with versions available in English, French and German, while North America will see this expansion debut at Gen Con 2015 with a $25 MSRP, with stores receiving it in August 2015.

Six tribes now? Hmm, perhaps Five Tribes should be renamed Six Tribes — but the base game still includes only five tribes, so that wouldn't work. In a press release from Days of Wonder, Cathala says that he knew five wasn't a hard limit for the number of tribes one might find in play: "I knew that sooner or later, a new tribe would appear in Five Tribes. Artisans bring some variety in the Sultanate, yet they do not break the balance of the game – but you should not ignore them as their magic items can be very powerful. The new mountains and chasm also ensure a lot of replayability as moving meeples on the board will not be as easy as before." Anyone want to speculate now on the color and power of tribe #7?

Twitter Facebook
64 Comments
Tue Apr 21, 2015 4:29 pm
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
103 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide

New Game Round-up: Predators in the Upper Deck, Horses Near the Train & A Prince Among the Stars

W. Eric Martin
United States
Apex
North Carolina
flag msg tools
admin
designer
• Jason Brenner from Upper Deck Entertainment has released more details of Legendary Encounters: A Predator Deck Building Game, notably that the game is based on the first two Predator films, allows you to play co-op as the humans from either of the movies with you trying to achieve objectives (as in Legendary Encounters: Alien), allows you to play competitively as predators, and allows you to use the predator deck in LE: Alien or the alien deck in LE: Predator. This game is scheduled to debut at Gen Con 2015 in July.

• Upper Deck also plans to release an expansion for Legendary Encounters: An Alien Deck Building Game before the end of 2015.

• In early April 2015, I asked Upper Deck for clarification of when new content for Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game that appears in packs of Marvel 3D collectible cards — such as cards for Deadpool, Man-Thing and Howard the Duck — will be available in another format, but have not received a response. Just wanted to let you know that I did ask...

Neuroshima Hex! Uranopolis is the first new expansion that Portal Games has released for Neuroshima Hex! in the U.S. since regaining the English-language rights to the game, and in a press release announcing this expansion Portal Games notes that "fans of Neuroshima Hex! should expect at least three more expansions" in 2015.

Ludonaute is working on an expansion for Christophe Raimbault's Colt Express for release at Spiel 2015 in October, with this expansion containing prisoners and a new train car, hostages and a stagecoach, horses so that you can ride next to the train, and a more active role for the Marshall, with one player competing against everyone else.

• Ludonaute also plans to publish a new game about the Little Prince by Antoine Bauza and Bruno Cathala, designers of that other game about the Little Prince from Ludonaute: The Little Prince: Make Me a Planet. This new game, due out in mid-to-late 2015 coincides with a new animated feature film of Le Petit Prince, and this time players will leave the planets behind to go on a journey to the stars.
Twitter Facebook
28 Comments
Mon Apr 20, 2015 7:28 pm
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
99 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide

Links: How Not to Name Your Game, Why We Won't Back Your Crowdfunded Game & More

W. Eric Martin
United States
Apex
North Carolina
flag msg tools
admin
designer
• On the Hyperbole Games site, designer Grant Rodiek laments past choices on the name of Hocus Poker and offers advice for other designers:

Quote:
Despite it being a key component of our origin story, Poker has really become a liability for our little game. For those not aware, Hocus began its life one afternoon when I asked, "would Poker be more fun with Spells?" I have immense respect for the game of poker, but I don't often enjoy my experience playing it. There seemed to be fertile ground as a designer to manipulate. Plus, it seemed easy. You shouldn't be surprised to find that I'm stupid...

Poker has been a problem at almost every stage of the pitch for us. I've had doors closed in my face as soon as the "ckkkk" leaves me lips, but we've also seen wild, angry men rage when they discover what they've done to "their" game. The problem with an elevator pitch is that you only have a floor or two, then your listener is either holding the door open or escaping that rapidly ascending box car.

Sort of along those same lines but not quite, I've had discussions with a couple of people who play only chess, and they find the idea of chess variants or chess-related spinoffs abhorrent. They say, "I don't want to play some chess-like thing; I want to play chess!" Perhaps not all chess players fall into this frame of thinking, but that anecdote came to mind while reading Rodiek's article.

• Speaking of chess, CNN reports on a chess grandmaster who went to the bathroom frequently to cheat in a tournament. How's that for a clickbaity summary?

• Jason Kotarski of Green Couch Games gets nice coverage from The Flint Journal about his success on Kickstarter with Scott Almes' Best Treehouse Ever. Reach out to those local news outlets, designers!

• To coincide with the debut of the fifth season of Game of Thrones on HBO, Owen Duffy of The Guardian talks up Fantasy Flight Games' line of board and card games based on A Game of Thrones and hits a few other winning licensed games as well.

• On Examiner.com, Michael Tresca offers "10 reasons why we won't fund your crowdsourced game", including pixel everything, cards against whatever, and "weird proposals that reveal awkward things about you".

• On NPR, Robert Smith explains "How Success Almost Killed A Game, And How Its Creators Saved It", with the game in question being Magic: The Gathering. Seems odd as the article covers old news and isn't connected to anything new at Wizards of the Coast, but here it is anyway.
Twitter Facebook
43 Comments
Sat Apr 18, 2015 9:08 pm
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
83 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide

Kevin Wilson Invites You to Be Awesome in His Kingdom

W. Eric Martin
United States
Apex
North Carolina
flag msg tools
admin
designer
Mock-up cover
Even with many other games already announced as forthcoming in 2015 — including designs based on Orphan Black and The Godfather — the publishing partnership of IDW Games and Pandasaurus Games has yet another title due out in the middle of 2015, this one being Awesome Kingdom: The Tower of Hateskull from designer Kevin Wilson. Here's a rundown of this 2-4 player game:

Quote:
Awesome Kingdom: The Tower of Hateskull is a lightweight, fast and funny dungeon-crawling card game in which players compete to be the most awesome hero after three days of adventuring.

Players enter the dungeon as one of eight epic characters, such as the Ragebarian, Prestidigimancer, or Paladude, with each character being bestowed with an appropriately amazing ability. The dungeon is formed out of a circle of dungeon wall tiles, with dungeon cards filling most of those spaces and heroes filling the rest.

A day lasts three turns, and on a turn, you play an action card from your hand, normally moving your hero around the circle of cards (skipping over other heroes) and claiming the card on which you land, which could be treasure, a monster (which wounds you before you defeat it), a trap, or even a magic item. Cards are worth various amounts of awesomeness, and you want to be the most awesome hero at the end of the third day.

The game includes 110 cards as well as cardboard tokens for wounds, coins, and dungeon walls and a cardboard standee for each hero.

Wilson describes the game as being a filler, a design "that's closer to something like Guillotine than something like Descent", with a four-player game taking 20-30 minutes.

Says Wilson, "I really enjoyed coming up with the cards for the game, which are based off the gonzo D&D campaigns I ran when I was little, back when being awesome was more important than realism. The heroes are all over-the-top things like the Ragebarian, who can shake off the effects of wounds, or the Prestidigimancer, who makes magic items more awesome and can mess with other heroes who move past her on the board. You might fight the Enchantovorosaurus, find a piece of the Stick of 6 Parts, get lured in by Adventurer Bait, or retrieve the World's Smallest Violin, which is worth an extra 10 awesome if you end the game in last place."

Awesome Kingdom: The Tower of Hateskull is scheduled for release in July 2015.

Twitter Facebook
16 Comments
Thu Apr 16, 2015 5:05 pm
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
56 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide

Game Overview: Ascension: Dawn of Champions, or (I Can't Get No) Matching Factions

W. Eric Martin
United States
Apex
North Carolina
flag msg tools
admin
designer
Ascension debuted in 2010 as part of the first wave of deck-building games in the wake of Dominion's ground-shifting onslaught on the gaming public, with Thunderstone (Dominion in a dungeon), Tanto Cuore (Dominion with Japanese servants), and Arctic Scavengers (Dominion in cold storage, both thematically and literally) being at the forefront of that wave in 2009.

Ascension's twist on the Dominion formula was two-fold, with (1) two currencies in the game to give you more to manage as you constructed your deck and (2) a sushi conveyor belt presentation of the cards to acquire or defeat, with not all players having a shot at each card as they emerged from the top of the deck.

The latest release in the Ascension series from Stone Blade EntertainmentAscension: Dawn of Champions — hews to the formula of earlier sets, with players once again competing for cards that are divided into four factions (Enlightened, Void, Lifebound, Mechana) and those factions having different specialties in what they do once you acquire a hero or construct and add it to your deck. As with the 2014 release Ascension: Realms Unraveled, some of the heroes and constructs now belong to two factions and the monsters also bear faction identification since, in story terms, they represent fallen members of New Vigil that now require your forceful attention.

To help you take advantage of all those faction markers, Ascension: Dawn of Champions includes a new ability on cards — Rally — with the ability always being combined with a faction, e.g., "Rally: Mechana". When you acquire or defeat a card with a Rally ability, if the top card of the deck belongs to that faction, then instead of placing it in the row as you normally would, you simply acquire or defeat it automatically. If you get lucky on the draws, you can even rally several cards in a row. Yes, rally you can!



Those factions also come into play with the giant-sized champion cards, with each player having a champion associated with a particular faction and gaining reputation for that champion whenever they acquire or defeat a card from that faction. Pick up enough reputation, and you get a champion card for your deck that works to that faction's specialty; pick up still more reputation, and you have an automatic Rally action whenever you acquire or defeat a card from that faction, thereby allowing you to (sometimes) chain together ridiculous turns — and sometimes get nothing at all. Them's the breaks, kid!

Twitter Facebook
12 Comments
Thu Apr 16, 2015 4:04 am
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls

1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5  Next »  [124]

Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.