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Crowdfunding Round-up: Chicago Express, Copper Country, Luchador & Twilight Struggle

Matt Riddle
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Kickstarter — bringing you projects that otherwise would have had no chance at success! You know, like a top 200 game or a digital port of the #1 game on BGG...

Origins is almost here!!! I love con season. I cannot wait to play all of the hot games from AEG, Rio Grande, FFG, Asmodee, Mayfair — none of which I cover in this post. If you are at Origins, look me up and say hi! This will be a bit shorter than normal as W. Eric has just done one of these [and is doing another one right soon —WEM] and it's just so dang nice outside and there is SO much baseball on.

Please note that I have NO issue with publishers using KS however they see fit; I was being sarcastic and "funny".

Queen Games is back and cleaning out its warehouse to bring you Chicago Express. It is not JUST regular old Chicago Express though, as Queen is tossing in some expansions in an effort to make direct sales. I am not a big fan of this game, but I know it is pretty well liked by many on BGG and is top 200ish, so check it out if you have not managed to grab a copy yet during its 7+ years of release. (KS link)

Quote:
Chicago Express is a family friendly train game for 2-6 players in which players take on the role of investors of late 19th century America. The goal: Make as much profit as possible in the thriving railroad sector.

Take part in the development and the expansion of the five largest railway companies of the country. It is their aim to make high profits through the expansion of the rail network towards Chicago, the development of town and mountain hexes, and the purchase of company shares.
It's 106 miles to Chicago, we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark...and we're wearing sunglasses. Hit it. Or maybe play a real 18XX game. I never have, but I hear they are fun.

CMX Games has launched its first KS for Copper Country : "The year is 1840 and America's first mining boom is about to strike in the remote wilderness of Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Take on the role of a mining company and compete for copper by casting miners and machines into what was known as the underground lottery." (KS link)

The theme hit home for me not only being a Michigander, but I actually went to college at Michigan Tech, which is in the region this game takes place! I finally know what it's like for every citizen of a major European city and have a game made about a place I lived. I loved my time up in the Upper Peninsula. Sure, there were no girls and it snowed, like, six feet my freshman year and the sun didn't shine from October to May, but it was great. College!

To continue the description:

Quote:
As the industry grows, so do the communities surrounding your mines. But every attempt to wrest copper from the ground hangs the fortunes of your company, and the lives of your miners, in the balance: life, work, profit, death.

In Copper Country, each player takes on the role of a unique mining company and competes to produce the most copper before it's all gone! To produce copper, players hire miners to work mine sites. Your miner's productivity is measured in shifts. Each shift, you reveal one card from the top of the production deck, then choose an outcome by playing capital card resources from your hand, placing your miner at risk, or both! Stake your claim by building company houses to increase your miners' loyalty and safety. Expand your mining empire by building shaft houses and hoist houses to increase your copper production.

When a player produces copper, the byproduct — poor rock — is removed from the industry track and dumped onto the mine site, reducing shifts nearby for all players. As players remove more poor rock from the industry track, local businesses open their doors, historical events occur, and copper country enters new eras of production.

The game ends when the last poor rock is dumped onto a mine site, depleting copper country's mineral wealth. The winner is the player who has produced the most copper!
There are a whole pile of cool bits unlocked!

GMT Games has already made a crap ton of dough launching the digital version of the current #1 overall ranked game on BGG Twilight Struggle. (KS link) I do not have much to add as this project hardly needs attention. It makes me wonder, especially after the Escape misfire from Queen Games, how much should a board game implementation cost? Rising costs of everything is an ongoing problem for game companies and gamers alike, but I can still go grab Candy Saga Slider Crush Angry Birds now featuring Jabber Jaws for like .99 and play it for dozens and dozens of hours. That has a direct effect on what people are willing to pay for a board game. I do not have a good answer, mind you. Ten dollars is kind of a lot, but if it were one of my all-time favorite games, like Tigris & Euphrates, I bet I would have paid $10. (I think I paid $2.99 for T&E.)

Backspindle Games has launched my favorite theme of the month with Luchador! Mexican Wrestling Dice. (KS link) Aside from winning "best new family game" in the 2014 UK Games Expo Awards, the game also has some super awesome art. Not sure on the gameplay, but I believe this is a second edition, so maybe someone who owns or has played the first one can chime in below.

Quote:
Luchador! Mexican Wrestling Dice is a two-player dice game (with optional rules for four-player tag-team play) based on the popular world of professional Mexican wrestling, or "Lucha Libre" (a.k.a. free fighting). Players start with 21 points of health (or 18 in a tag-team match) and roll custom dice to try to either reduce the opponent's strength points to zero to win by a knock-out (KO) or hold the opponent down on the mat for a "count of three" to win by a pin.
When you are a man, sometimes you wear stretchy pants.

Quick Hits

James Wallace Gray is selfpublishing Crazier Eights, a game in which "players take turns drawing a card, discarding up to one card, and playing up to one card for an effect. The first player with zero cards in hand wins." (KS link). The project caught my eye for some reason. I didn't back it yet, but I looked at it, which is more than I do most of the time. Granted the name and theme do not meld very well and I didn't realize there was a make-your-own-Magic-card tool on the interwebs, but overall the art is solid.

Tempters is "a highly competitive board game in which the players take on the role of demons endeavoring to tempt souls into hell". So I am guessing an all-ages family game. I'm backing for 4-5 copies, and the Christmas shopping for the nieces and nephews is done! (KS link)

Going, Going, Gone!

Nothing specific caught my interest this month. WizKids somehow managed to get Marvel Dice Masters to market WITHOUT crowdfunding! Good for them. Quite the risk they took. While I haven't played it, I hear it's great and my Twitter feed won't shut up about it.

In the travashamockery to end all travashamockerys the dog-powered beer cart did NOT fund. Damn it.

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.

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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