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Crowdfunding Round-up: Where Old Literature Is the New Hotness and W. Eric is Old and Busted

Matt Riddle
United States
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From gallery of riddlen
It is early December 2013 and because I have 8- and 9-y.o. girls, I have been listening to Christmas music for five weeks already! It used to annoy me but not so much anymore. I enjoy watching them enjoy it. Tis the season and such! Speaking of the season, I hope everyone receives lots of great games for <insert holiday>! There are a few titles I am hoping end up underneath my Festivus Pole. In the meantime, here are some games that might be ready for Christmas...of 2016!

Side note: Did you guys see W. Eric's KS manifesto from a few weeks back! I thought he was way off base and couldn't disagree more! Cowtown looked like a top-notch game! It uses Borg's famous "Command and Cows" mechanism! Or it was just Phase 10 with cows. One of the two...and terrible.

Board Game: Where Art Thou Romeo?
Crash Games has launched Where Art Thou Romeo?, a nanogame set in the Council of Verona universe. Thanks to that crazy cat Michael Mindes of Tasty Minstrel Games, "name your own price" Kickstarters may be the next big thing for small expansions and minigames. It's a neat idea, though I admit that I do not totally get it. Basically, the game costs a few bucks which is cool, but people will probably slightly overpay because gamers are the best BUT there will still be some cheapasses who pay .01c because they are that guy, so it's really just the generous helping out the turds, right? All that aside, this is a cool project that Patrick Nickell is offering up, a fun little social deduction game by Michael Eskue and his beard. (KS link)

Council of Verona has been blowing up, including mentions by Wil Wheaton in a TableTop extras video and, the coup de grâce, a tweet* from ME saying I liked it! BTW, Patrick promises that Where Art Thou Romeo? will be delivered by THIS Christmas, as in less than three weeks from this post!

Where Art Thou Romeo? is a nanogame in which 3-5 players take turns taking on the role of Juliet, who is attempting to find Romeo amongst the others players. Each card, other than Juliet, has two different roles from which to choose. Players holding these cards choose one of the two roles, which will subsequently make them want to convince the Juliet player that they either are or are not Romeo or perhaps point out who they think Romeo might be.

The game lasts 3-5 rounds depending upon the number of players with each player taking on the role of Juliet once. The player with the most influence points at the end of the game wins.
—"O Romeo, Romeo! wherefore art thou Romeo? Deny thy father and refuse thy name. Or if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love And I'll no longer be a Capulet."

—"Whoa whoa whoa, slow down Julie! I mean, I had a good time and such but we are like 17, probably going to different colleges, and I mean we have our whole lives ahead of us! You are a cool chick and all, but I don't want to be tied down right now. Let's not do anything rash..."

*Speaking of the Twitter, have you guys heard of that? It is this thing on the interwebs where people talk to each other and such. I have been tweetering for a few months now. It is a cool way to interact with BGGers and game designers. Not the GOOD designers like Feld, or Knizia or Uwe or Launius but B-level... errrr, C-level really... clowns like me, Ben Pinchback, Scott Almes, Ed Marriott, Ben Rosset, Darrell Louder, T. C. Petty III and his hair, Jason Kotarski, Geoff Engelstein, Jeremiah Lee, Jason Tagmire, David Short, and more guys you have never heard of with tons more I am forgetting. It's pretty dang cool. Sure it's MOSTLY shameless promotion and humblebragging, but still really fun. I am a terrible follow, but if you want, look me up at @mdriddlen.

Board Game: Coin Age
TMG is (almost) back on KS with Coin Age a "name your own price" nanogame — another project I learned about on Twitter because I follow TMG developer Seth Jaffee and the designer Adam P. McIver. Coin Age truly is nano, consisting of one card! It's a cool concept using a card and pocket change that's been around for a bit as a PnP and was picked up by Tasty Minstrel Games for full publication. The project goes live Dec. 10, 2013, so you will have to find it yourself in a few days! I am going to be a turd and back it for .02c! Ha! Take that Adam, Michael, and Seth. Suckers!

Coin Age is a microgame for two players that's played with a single card and pocket change. Players take turns placing coins on a map to control spaces, outmaneuver their opponent, and score victory points.

Coin Age uses an innovative "coin slap" mechanism to determine available actions. On a player's turn, he takes one of each of his remaining types of coins in hand (one quarter, one nickel, one penny, and one dime), shakes them up, then slaps them on the table. Based on the number of coins that match his "side", he can then either place coins on the map, move previously placed coins to an adjacent space, or remove them altogether. When placing coins, players may also place their coins on top of the opponent's coins if their size/rank is smaller, so while a quarter will give you the most victory points at the end of the game, it has the highest probability of being covered by your opponent.

Coin Age is a quick-playing area control game with lots of player interaction and a bit of push-your-luck gameplay.
It costs less to buy than it does to play.

From gallery of riddlen
• Many of you may have noticed that occasionally MY crowdfunding write-ups get more thumbs than those of the old and busted W. Eric. It is not a contest...but if it were I would be the Broncos and W. Eric would be the Jaguars. I mean, I haven't noticed of course. I don't care about such egotistical things. It is not like I swear at the screen every time that unholy bastard David Neumann (<squints eyes> Neumann!) posts a Lords of Waterdeep app update two days after one of my write-ups because I know it is going to get at least triple the thumbs. What kind of narcissistic a-hole cares about the personal recognition of "thumbs" within a public forum such as BGG? Not this a-hole! I do it for the love of games... and Kickstarter... and because why the heck not! Errr, the point is, W. Eric sent me a few projects he wasn't going to get to but not GOOD projects like with minis or zombies and such, but a Jane Austen trivia game! For reals! It's a thing! Talk about trying to sabotage my write-up! Elizabeth Bankhead is using KS to fund The Jane Game. (KS link)

All joking aside, the game looks neat. It has nice clean graphic design and a little twist on classic trivia games. If you are a fan of Jane Austen, and who isn't, check it out! The craziest part is — and I know themes get reused all the time — that it's one of THREE Jane Austen games recently on Kickstarter! THREE! Jane Austen's Matchmaker is live right now and seeking funding (KS link) and Marrying Mr. Darcy: the Pride and Prejudice Card Game made 60K in October 2013!

The Jane Game is a trivia board game devoted to Jane Austen's six novels. It is designed to bring Austen admirers together to share in her stories, characters, wit and language. While playing, each participant enters Jane's world as one of her heroines. As such, you seek after a fortunate life by becoming an accomplished woman, gaining life experience and choosing to marry or not. Through chance, expertise and choice you could become the envied Mrs. Darcy, the pitied Mrs. Collins, or the new roommate of Miss Bates.
I have no idea who any of those people are. I spent my formative years reading about dragons and such. Shocker I know.

Board Game: Machina Arcana
MAGE Company is back with Machina Arcana. Zombie minis! Wait, nope, Machina Arcana... so probably robots or some stuff! Robot minis! Wait, nope. Steampunk AND Cthulhu horror... hmmm. No minis. That is too bad. With steampunk AND Cthulhu already on board, if there is a zombie in there somewhere they have 90% of the popular tropes covered! Good for them! The name doesn't tell us much, and my first thought after reading the title, followed by the description, was "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."

Turns out Machina Arcana is "a cooperative steampunk horror board game for 1-4 players — an immersive and dark, turn-based tactical game". Got it! It does have those boards with little squares all over them that KS backers seem to love, and they are VERY cool-looking boards to boot. The guys over at MAGE must be pretty smart because funding has gone well for them. Go jump on it if it interests you as I would expect some of those really neat-o stretch goal thingies are being unlocked as we speak. (KS link)

Machina Arcana is a cooperative steampunk horror board game for 1-4 players. Players take on the role of explorers who are thrown into dreadful halls, scratching for survival and progressing through the chapters of one from many horror stories. Even if they manage to stay alive until the end of the story, they will face a special minigame at the finale of each scenario.

The game is a novel way of interacting with environment, inventory, combat mechanisms, tactical and storytelling experience all connected in order to give you a complete immersion and replay value. But beware! A horde of unique and terrifying monsters are bent only to destroying your party. If that isn't enough, Horror itself disrupts and hinders any remaining hope in these comfortless chambers.
Dunno. I don't speak steampunk, Cthulhu, OR co-op, so I don't have much to add. It's very pretty though.

Quick Hits

Jason Tagmire is back with Game Salute to bring an expansion to our favorite 8-bit President in Pixel Lincoln: Re-Election. Looks cool and campy and fun. (KS link)

• The guys over at The Cardboard Jungle are running their own crowdfunding project to fund the 2014 season and are doing it directly. Check it out here. (Link)

• Also from Game Salute is Clusterfight. Not much to say — looked decent, but to be frank the KS page gave me a headache, so I punted. It is honestly awful-looking. Not the game, literally the KS page. The vid is worth a view as the two designers seem like pretty swell, sincere guys. From what I gathered before clicking away, Clusterfight looked like it might be a fun party game with an entertaining twist. ( KS link)

Going, Going, Gone!

Wait, what the heck? No Richard Launius games this month?! Or did I miss one! I hope so... if not... heads up!! Gaming apocalypse!

See you in a month, and remember that if you have any questions, shoot me a Geekmail or post it in here. Complaints and/or rants can be directed at W. Eric. It was likely his fault anyway.
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