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Crowdfunding Round-up: Ships and Shrimp, Holmes and Heroes, Art and Aeronauts & Much More

W. Eric Martin
United States
North Carolina
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Board Game: Shipwrights of the North Sea
• Yes, I just ran a crowdfunding post the other day, but that slacker Riddle barely covered anything, focusing solely on games that he appeared to be interested in backing — as if that's some kind of guide for what other people should be considering. You have to think outside yourself, Matt, and be more considerate of the interests of others — at least that's what your wife tells me.

Thus, it's time to rectify his faults and take a broader look at the numerous games extending the hat on Kickstarter and other crowdfunding sites, starting with Shem Phillips' Shipwrights of the North Sea, the latest title from his own Garphill Games. I wasn't aware that KS now allowed projects from those in New Zealand, but apparently it does as Phillips wants you to help fund this Viking-themed ship-construction game. (KS link)

• Steve Finn of Dr. Finn's Games has gone live with Let Them Eat Shrimp!, in which the fishy players want to spawn and avoid sharks in addition to eating the aforementioned shrimp. (KS link)

• Eagle/Gryphon Games is offering a trio of "games of art", to use its phrase, the trio consisting of the "Rucksack" edition of Alf Seegert's Fantastiqa (smaller box, no game boards); Sean MacDonald's Petite Pastiche (smaller box, no game board, and approximately two-thirds the hex tiles, palette cards and commission cards); and Sid Sackson's Games of Art, a new edition of Beyond Tic Tac Toe. For this latter item, unlike the original book, Games of Art includes laminated pages and erasable markers so that you can play the seven games included multiple times without having to rip out pages as you use them. (KS link)

Board Game: Heroes Wanted
Heroes Wanted from designers Travis R. Chance and Nick Little and their own Action Phase Games is another take on the superhero card game genre, with heroes and villains being created through the combination of upper and lower body cards, each with a different power or attack, which therefore gives you a new superhero creation each game. What are trying to do as a hero? Collect fame, of course, preferably by defeating villains, but a megalomaniac like yourself probably won't care how you acquire it. (KS link)

• In Diane Sauer's card-melding game Legends and Lies, players are cryptozoologists who mount expeditions that attempt to prove the existence of mythical creatures such as Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, and extraterrestrials. (KS link)

• In the martial-arts themed Lineage from Justin Waggle and Gray Wolf Games, each player needs to collect the five animal cards from the masters located around the game board, then return both his master and student to the middle of the board — unless he's controlling the Emperor, in which case he needs to use his General to conquer the towns at the corners of the board. Unique come-on for this project: "Lineage is the first board game to be officially recognized by the Martial Arts History Museum and will feature the museum’s logo on its box." (KS link)

Board Game: oddball Äeronauts
• Nigel Pyne's two-player card game oddball Aeronauts is played entirely in the players' hands, with each trying to run the other out of cards by playing 1-3 cards each turn and using their strengths, supplemental strengths, and special powers. (KS link)

• Following its recent KS project for Fresco Big Box, German publisher Queen Games now has Kingdom Builder Big Box on offer, with the package including the 2012 Spiel des Jahres-winning Kingdom Builder, the Nomads and Crossroads expansions, and the Capitol and Caves promo items. The Kickstarter version of this item includes new wooden settlements in five shapes and an Island expansion with new game boards; both of these items will be available for purchase later. (KS link)

• Eric Stover's Grand Tactics: Rise of Novice is about, umm, something tactical, possibly with novices in there somewhere. I'm not sure as the KS page features lots of images and a huge block of ALL CAPS TEXT THAT'S ILLEGIBLE and a list of components and a video and a picture of said components and then details of these components and, oh, way down there is a bit on game objectives: "Kill all enemies". So now you know. (KS link)

Board Game: Province
• Another day, another microgame project on Kickstarter, this time the two-player communal worker-placement game Province from designer Samuel Strick. (KS link)

• Excalibre Games wants to fund a "designer's edition" of Roger Heyworth's
Sherlock Holmes: The Card Game, a game in which 3-8 players try to capture a villain, with one of them secretly playing the villain and trying to discard all of his cards, then his villain card, in order to escape. (KS link)

• Matt Schwartz's Westerly from Analog Evolution Games is on its second go-round on KS, doubling its support from the first time but still with a long way to go to make this co-operative tale of westward expansion come to life. (KS link)


Board Game: Pairs
Do you know about Prefundia, Thunderclap and PitchFuse, just three of many sites that highlight crowdfunding projects before they go live? Well, let's step back in time even further (or ahead, as the case may be) with word of games that will be launched for crowdfunding, but aren't present on any of those sites.

• The card game Pairs by James Ernest and Paul Peterson and Cheapass Games hits Kickstarter, um, February 17, 2014, which is tomorrow if you're reading this when the post first goes live, so admittedly this isn't much advance notice, but still I can now check this project off my list. Done! Pairs is a pub-style card game in which you don't want to make matches or else you'll be one step closer to getting bumped from the game. More details about the game, including a print-and-play option, are on the Cheapass Games website. (A new edition of Ernest's Falling will be part of the stretch goals for this project.)

Bedtime Heroes by designers Dave Campbell and Steve Venezia is a Toy Story meets Monsters Inc. amalgam card-and-dice game in which players use animated toys to protect sleeping children from monsters.

The Orcfather from Carlos Michán Amado and Lost Games takes a fantasy-themed mafia for its setting, with 4-10 players being divided into two teams that can't consult with their teammates while deciding what to do each round.

Board Game: Pocket Imperium
• David Mortimer's Pocket Imperium, Golden Geek 2013 nominee in the print-and-play category, has been picked up by LudiCreations for release at Spiel 2014 in October with a crowdfunding campaign to run in Q3 2014.

• The small Eurogame Harbour from Scott Almes and Tasty Minstrel Games that "consists mainly of cards and a handful of wooden pieces" and will be launched on KS no earlier than May 2014.

• Designer Jamey Stegmaier plans to launch a campaign for Tuscany: Expand the World of Viticulture from his Stonemaier Games on March 12, 2014. This expansion includes eight modules that can be added to the game in any order that players want.

Ragnar Brothers has a crowdfunding project starting soon for Steam Donkey, a game about which I know nothing but I wouldn't be surprised to find a box filled with steamy punk. Ragnar's Gary Dicken promises a "six-minute video that will warp your mind". (I'm disappointed — cheated even — to discover that "steam donkey" has nothing to do with steaming donkeys.)
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