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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

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New Game Round-up: Sweets on the Streets, More Zombie Fighters, and Team Spirit for Cash 'n Guns

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• The weather's getting hotter — at least in the Northern Hemisphere — so Green Couch Games is preparing a game filled with cool treats that, um, won't be delivered until the end of 2016 when the temperatures have dropped once again. Oh, well, that's game publishing life in the Kickstarter era, with the worst part being the backers in Australia probably won't receive copies until mid-2017 when they're in the midst of winter once again.

In any case, here's an overview of the game in question: Rocky Road a la Mode from first-time designer Joshua J Mills:

Quote:
Get in the driver seat and feel what it's like to live the life of a sweet treat trucker! Stock up your truck, attract customers, and serve a hefty scoop of tasty frozen delight! The best truckers get to know their customers' favorite selections so that they can always meet demand and gain an edge over the competition in the battle to claim the hottest locations. You'll see the business of icy entrepreneurship is no day at the beach. Buckle up, turn on the loudspeaker, and take to the rocky road...with ice cream!

Rocky Road a la Mode is a game of managing time and resources to meet the demands of sweet-treat-seekers! The game features multi-use cards and a time track that determines the players' turn order. The player whose ice cream truck is furthest back on the road goes next and may choose from several actions on their turn: stocking up on new treats, playing music over the loudspeaker to attract business, or passing out treats to fulfill customer desires. Every choice costs time and forces players to move ahead on the road track. Once a player is no longer in the rear of the pack, their turn ends until they find themselves lagging behind again.

In addition to gaining loyalty points from happy customers, players can gain bonus treats in their permanent supply so that they can meet demand a little easier. Throughout the game, players also fight to earn the right to take over several of the different territories that make summer great: the beach, the pool, the park, and the ballfield.

• I'm attending BGG.CON Spring 2016, which takes place May 27-30, but for the first time in years I'm attending a convention as a player and not as a news guy. That said, I keep finding announcements of goodies that will be available at the show, so here I am spreading word of them to you all, such as the I Hate Zombies: Spyke and Geek promo cards that Steve Jackson Games will hand out to those who participate in its "horde-sized" games of I Hate Zombies that will accommodate up to 48 players.



• A second expansion for the second edition of Ludovic Maublanc's Cash 'n Guns is due out Q3 2016 from Repos Production, with Team Spirit taking a page from the Yakuzas expansion for the original Ca$h 'n Gun$ in that you'll now be able to play with up to nine at the table with players competing in teams instead of on their own. Team Spirit also includes a silencer, three new guns, seven new characters you can play, and twelve mercenaries you can hire to put extra muscle on your team.

Reiner Knizia's Silver Screen, a card game version of Traumfabrik that fell into limbo when publisher Cambridge Games Factory vanished, might appear in print after all. In April 2016, CGF developer Robert Seater posted the following on BGG: "I have tentatively found another publisher for it, which Knizia is now working with. I don't know the timeline, but I think the game has a future!"

• The image below appeared on a Facebook group page, then was referenced in a Reddit post. I asked Asmodee North America whether Arkham Horror: The Card Game was indeed in the works from Fantasy Flight Games, and social marketing coordinator Cynthia Hornbeck responded as anticipated: "Our official statement is 'no comment'."

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Wed May 25, 2016 3:01 pm
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New Game Round-up: Aliens Battle, Rats Return, Blocks Ship Early, and Ants Want Your Money

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Upper Deck Entertainment's unwieldily named Vs. System 2PCG expands once again on July 20, 2016 with the release of Vs. System 2PCG: The Alien Battles, which consists of two hundred cards that cover all four Alien movies. Players can play as any of the major characters from the Alien universe or as the Xenomorphs themselves. Vs. System 2PCG: The Alien Battles can be played on its own or combined with any other standalone Vs. System 2PCG title for more battling fun.

• Speaking of the Vs. System 2PCG, Upper Deck notes that attendees of BGG.CON Spring (which takes place May 27-30, 2016) will receive extended art Venom promo cards. Whoever does the best impersonation of Venom at the Upper Deck exhibitor booth receives a bonus set. I look forward to videotaping those efforts!


• Here's something that I missed months ago: White Goblin Games is reprinting the base game of Åse and Henrik Berg's Rattus and expects to have information in mid-2016 about its availability. Some of the Rattus expansions and promos are still available in the WGG webshop, and it expects to release "new things later this year", i.e. 2016.

• Following Imhotep's nomination for the 2016 Spiel des Jahres, Thames & Kosmos — the U.S. branch of German publisher KOSMOS — has announced that it will release that game in North America on June 21, 2016, instead of in August 2016 as previously planned. (I'm checking whether copies will be available at Origins Game Fair, which takes plae in mid-June.) Clearly those goods aren't crossing the Atlantic on a solar ship...

• Helaina Cappel of Kids Table BG notes that it's headed to Kickstarter in September 2016 to get backing for Problem Picnic: Attack of the Ants from Kickstarter king Scott Almes. No details on the gameplay yet, but clearly ant farms need to be a stretch goal.

• Mariano Iannelli from What's Your Game? posted the following teaser image on Facebook, noting that they're "[t]esting the next game from Zhanguo's authors", those being Marco Canetta and Stefania Niccolini. He expects this title — whatever it might be — to be released at Spiel 2016.

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Tue May 24, 2016 3:00 pm
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New Game Round-up: Welcoming Tides of Madness, Succeeding Alexander, Revisiting Barony & Eating Fresh Fruit

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• In mid-March 2016, I posted about a sequel to Kristian Čurla's Tides of Time titled "Tentacles of Time". Turns out that info had leaked early as the final title of this Portal Games release — which will debut at Gen Con 2016 in August — is Tides of Madness, with the "madness" coming from a new way to score and/or lose. Some details:

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Tides of Madness is a sequel to Tides of Time and features gameplay similar to that design. Tides of Time is a drafting game for two players. Each game consists of three rounds in which players draft cards from their hands to build their kingdom. Each card is one of five suits and also has a scoring objective.

After all cards have been drafted for the round, players total their points based on the suits of cards they collected and the scoring objectives on each card, then they record their score. Each round, the players each select one card to leave in their kingdom as a "relic of the past" to help them in later rounds. After three rounds, the player with the the most prosperous kingdom wins.

Tides of Madness adds a new twist to the above game: madness. Some cards, while powerful, harm your psyche, so you must keep an eye on your madness level or else risk losing the game early as your mind is lost to the power of the ancients. More specifically, eight of the eighteen cards in the game feature a madness icon, and while scoring, you receive a madness token for each such icon in your collection of cards. Whoever has the most madness in a round either scores 4 points or discards 1 madness token — and the latter option is valuable because if you ever have nine or more madness, you lose the game immediately.

A draft of the English rules for Tides of Madness (PDF) is available on the Portal Games website.

• Speaking of time, a couple more publishers have decided it's time to start unveiling information about titles they'll release at Spiel 2016 in October. Designer/publisher Bernd Eisenstein of Irongames explores a similar era as in games past with Phalanxx, which bears this brief description:

Quote:
Alexander the Great has conquered a vast empire, but his power is now waning and the time is ripe to compete for his inheritance.

Each player in Phalanxx leads one of four competing factions that are ready to rule that vast empire. To do this, you must become the most powerful faction by reinforcing your troops, ensuring sufficient supplies, and occupying the most important cities and oases.

In addition, in April 2016 Eisenstein released solo rules for the Peloponnes Card Game, his Spiel 2015 release, in English (PDF) and German (PDF).

• At Spiel 2016, Matagot will expand Marc André's 2015 release Barony with Barony: Sorcery, which includes components for a fifth player — new tiles, new wooden components, new player aid — as well as something new to the gameplay itself:

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Barony: Sorcery brings magic to the world, with a sixth action now available to the players that allows them to cast powerful spells. Before they can cast spells, however, they need mana, and only a few places on the board allow them to collect those precious mana points. The battle for control and access to these places will be hard!

Barony: Sorcery stays true to the base game as the new elements add no luck to the game, instead opening up possibilities for players to bend the rules, thereby adding even more tension to the board.

Crash of Games has acquired publication rights to Wolfgang Sentker and Ralf zur Linde's Finca, which was nominated for Spiel des Jahres in 2009. In Finca, players use their workers to collect fruit, then fulfill orders scattered across the Mallorca countryside. You're not free to move your workers however you wish, though, as their movement is restricted by the location of workers owned by other players — just as their movement is restricted by yours.

Crash of Games plans to release its new version of Finca in Q2 2017, keeping the farming-based nature of the original game, but moving the setting to North America and using new artwork throughout the game. CoG's Patrick Nickell has raved to me about the wondrous wooden bits of the original version of Finca, so I'd expect something similar in this version.

Bits in the 2009 version of Finca
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Mon May 23, 2016 6:40 pm
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Crowdfunding Round-up: Digital Games Hit the Table in a Bevy of Nightmare Worlds

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• Another day, another post-apocalyptic survival mission, this time in the form of Grégory Oliver's Outlive from La Boite de jeu, with you fighting against others for survival in a radioactive environment. Also, the game features miniatures — but you probably already guessed that. (KS link)

• Disaster of another type awaits in Plague Inc: The Board Game, an adaptation of the video game from James Vaughan and Ndemic Creations that allows you to try to overrun the world with your unique pathogen. Can you infect countries and kill the entire population within their borders? (KS link)

• Another digital-to-analog conversion is taking place in This War of Mine: The Board Game (note the helpful subtitle!) from Michał Oracz, Jakub Wiśniewski, and Awaken Realms. Now you can try to survive as a civilian in a city overrun by military forces on your tabletop! (KS link)

• On the flipside of Plague Inc, Michele Quondam's Virus from his own Giochix.it presents the more traditionally cooperative "fight the virus" narrative, with players invading a laboratory while watching for potential traitors. (KS link)

• Speaking of viruses, you can attempt to turn the United States red, white or blue in Campaign Trail from David Cornelius, Nathan Cornelius, and Cosmic Wombat Games, with up to six players employing multi-use cards to fundraise and collect electoral votes on their way to the presidency. (KS link)

• Okay, enough doom and gloom for now. How about a pleasant game of snatching as much loot as you can from a sleeping dragon, this being the premise of the set-collection, press-your-luck game Hoard from Tim Kings-Lynne, Julia Schiller, and Cheeky Parrot Games. (KS link)

• Wealth acquisition of a more traditional manner is present in Dale of Merchants 2 from Sami Laasko and Snowdale Design, although your end goal in this deck-building game filled with anthropomorphic animals — which can be played on its own or combined with Dale of Merchants — is to complete your merchant stall, not simply amass a pile of loot. (KS link)

• Cute animals are also at play in 9DKP, a trading card game from Erick Scarecrow and ESC-Toy Ltd that consists of three decks — kats, zombies, and survivors — that can face off against one another. (KS link)

• Chris Cieslik of Asmadi Games released a beta version of his roguelike dungeon crawl card game One Deck Dungeon at Gen Con 2015, and now he's moving forward with the final version of the game, which accommodates 1-2 players with a single set or up to four players with two copies. (KS link)

• Aside from dungeon crawls, in a list of common game tropes you'll find pirates, zombies, pirate zombies, pirate zombies on a dungeon crawl, and robot assembly. Thus, it's no surprise to find another game about robot assembly on KS, specifically the self-published BetaBotz from Gargitt Au and Zack Connaughton. I don't see what differentiates this robot-assembly game from others, but I'm not a robot-assembly connoisseur, so perhaps others can spot such details better than me. (KS link)

• The zombie portion of this c.f. round-up comes from a German version of Jane Austen's Matchmaker with Zombies from Warm Acre. (Spieleschmiede link)

• Another common gaming trope is railroad management, and frequent Age of Steam expansion designer Alban Viard offers his own take on the subject — as detailed in this designer diary on BGG News — in Tramways from his own AVStudioGames. (KS link)

• Nearly one year after its initial KS attempt, the disk-flicking, planet-destroying game Cosmic Kaboom from Matt Loomis and Minion Games has orbited back onto the crowdfunding circuit, with the game being released in both a regular and KS-only deluxe version. (KS link)

• In 2015 Game Salute released Philip duBarry's Skyway Robbery — a game of thieves set in the steampunkish Gaslight Empire — and now duBarry and Game Salute are giving players the other side of the story with Chief Inspector, in which investigators try to apprehend the most notorious criminals in the Gaslight Empire without becoming too corrupt in the process. (KS link)

• The Gaslight Empire is also the setting for Garrett Herdter's City of Outcasts, a microgame in which players use special-powered allies to secure support for themselves from those in control, with optional location cards allowing for a slightly larger area-control game. (KS link)

• A similar battle for governmental control takes place in Coup: Anarchy G54, an expansion for Rikki Tahta's Coup: Rebellion G54 from Indie Boards & Cards that adds six new roles and a new action card to the base game. (KS link)

• Battles of a more traditional manner take place in Ken Whitehurst's Polyversal, a science-fiction mass-combat miniatures game from Collins Epic Wargames that takes place on a "plausible-future Earth", according to the publisher. I appreciate the openness of this phrase, mostly because it makes me ponder what non-plausible-future Earths might be like. (KS link)

• If you've ever dreamed of playing Dejarik (or even know what Dejarik is), then you probably want to check out Hologrid Monster Battle, a hybrid digital/analog tactical CCG from HappyGiant with monsters designed by Phil Tippett. (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 May 22, 2016 1:00 pm
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New Game Round-up: Surviving the Oregon Trail, Maximizing Your Harvest, and Driving Away the Competition

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• In addition to announcing that it has picked up licenses for Jesse Li's Ponzi Scheme and Hisashi Hayashi's YOKOHAMA, Tasty Minstrel Games has revealed the basics of two titles in the works for release in 2017, starting with Pioneer Days from UK-based designers Matthew Dunstan and Chris Marling. An overview:

Quote:
Pioneer Days is a dice-drafting game set on The Oregon Trail. While you pursue your strategy, you must be prepared for impending disasters such as storms, disease, raids, and famine.

Round by round, players draw dice out of the bag, roll them, then take turns drafting one to either collect silver, hire a townsfolk, or take an action based on the die value. Townsfolk confer immediate or constant benefits as well as end game scoring bonuses, while actions help you collect wood, medicine, cattle, equipment, and gold nuggets. The unchosen die each round advances one of the disaster tracks based on its color, and when a disaster gets to the end of its track, all players must deal with its effects.

The other title, Harvest, is from Argent designer Trey Chambers:

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Mind the fields of Gullsbottom! Plant and fertilize your seeds, tend your crops, and utilize the various buildings at your disposal. You'll need to work smarter, not harder, as harvest season is coming to an end! Who will have the best harvest this year? Will it be you?

Each round in Harvest, you first draft turn order (and the benefits that come with it), then send your two workers into town and into the fields. Plant seeds, tend fields, and harvest crops to make room to plant some more! Utilize buildings and magical elixir to amass a bigger and better harvest than your neighbors at the end of five rounds of play.

• Many moons ago — July 2015, to be specific — Mercury Games announced that it planned to launch a Kickstarter funding campaign for a new version of Martin Wallace's Princes of the Renaissance by the end of 2015. That didn't happen, but now Mercury has stated the the KS will go live on Monday, May 23, 2016. Counter-programming to the revelation of the Spiel des Jahres nominees perhaps...

AEG has released All That Glitters, the first expansion for Vangelis Bagiartakis' Dice City, so naturally it's time to announce expansion #2, this being Dice City: Crossroads, which adds taverns, guilds, and new ways to get around to the city of Rolldovia.

• I've posted a lot about the self-publishers at Tokyo Game Market, but that doujin spirit is present around the world, as with designer/publisher Nick Case of A-Muse-Ment, who will have one hundred copies of The Municipal Golf Club — the second expansion for his golf course-designing game The Front Nine — available at the 2016 UK Games Expo, after which no more will be available. As for what the expansion offers, here's a short description from Case:

Quote:
The player controls the Parks and Recreation department of a local council who have been challenged to build a suburban course for the general public. Funds are tight and those pesky neighbouring boroughs have the same idea as you, so the gloves are off and dirty deeds abound as players build sewage treatment plants, by-passes and electricity pylons on their neighbours patch in an effort to disrupt their courses. Not to mention those scum-bag locals who dump rubbish all over your lovely course when no one is looking...

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Fri May 20, 2016 6:00 pm
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New Game Round-up: Flicking Plastic, Building Spires, and Outlasting the Competition

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• As noted in Feb. 2016, Z-Man Games plans to release a mass market version of Gaëtan Beaujannot and Jean Yves Monpertuis' Flick 'em Up! with plastic components instead of the wooden ones, and now the publisher has placed both a release date (July 2016) and price ($35) on this version, while also announcing that this "wider audience" version will be available in a total of fourteen languages: English, German, French, Dutch, Hungarian, Polish, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Finnish, Swedish, Danish and Norwegian.

Corné van Moorsel of Cwali has teased his next release: a tile-laying game in which players build a wildlife park without cages or fences. Van Moorsel's short description: "Each animal has its own requirements for its surrounding landscape (grass/bush/rock/water). Further you can improve the value of your park by flora, watchtowers, trek tours, ziplines and extra entrance roads."

Prototype artwork

• To continue with the theme of shooting things, we have Dead Last from Matthew Grosso, Andy Patton and Smirk & Dagger Games, with this title due out in June 2016. An overview:

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Dead Last — originally known as Tontine — is a "social collusion" game of shifting alliances, betrayals, and murder for profit in which players must conspire and vote upon whom to kill each round. Any means of overt or covert communication is allowed — a glance, a nod, pointing under the table, flashing a card, anything – but make sure you don't tip off the target or they could ambush you instead! In the end, one or two players will remain, either claiming all the gold or squaring off in a final showdown before starting the next round of play. The first player to score 24 points of gold wins.

• Who doesn't love cards with numbers on them? I sure do, so I'm curious to fund out more about Nevermore Games' Spires from T.C. Petty, which will hit Kickstarter in Q3 2016 for an anticipated 2017 release. Here's an overview of the game:

Quote:
A king with a penchant for spires is asking his favorite builders – the players – to perk up his kingdom's skyline. Players compete to build the tallest spires to receive the king's favor, but his majesty has warned that the towers must not be taller than those on his royal palace.

Spires combines hand management, set collection, and trick-taking into a 25-minute game. Players compete for cards in different markets to try to build out their tableaus.

Every player aims to fill their tableau with spires of each type but must be careful not to add more than three of any one type of card. Once the spire exceeds three cards, all cards of that type become a penalty to their final score.

Competing for cards can be tricky as rival builders can force you to take cards that push you over the three-card limit, but not to worry! You can also win cards that allow you to discard or swap cards.

The builder with the most points, including spires and bonuses (special cards, icon majorities, etc.), wins!
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Wed May 18, 2016 6:12 pm
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New nestorgames Round-up: Melting Chess, Ouroboros, Iqishiqi, Ni-Ju, and Fano330-R-Morris

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• I haven't covered titles from Spanish publisher nestorgames in a while, yet owner Néstor Romeral Andrés keeps kicking out one interesting title after another, so let's check out a bunch of them at once, starting with Markus Hagenauer's Melting Chess. As I noted in a Jan. 2016 overview of All Queens Chess, "chess" in the title of a game sometimes makes gamers groan, either because they view chess as old and lame or because they view chess as the greatest game ever and not something that should be messed with or "improved".

That said, some designers have re-used elements of chess to create something familiar yet new, and Melting Chess seems like a good example of this. After creating an 8x6 game board of 48 tiles that show a dozen knights, bishops, rooks, and kings, the two players take turns moving their tokens on the board. To move, a player chooses a face-up tile orthogonally adjacent to their token, moves their token in the style of the chess piece depicted on that tile to another face-up tile, then flips face down the tile that their token previously occupied. If you can't move on your turn, you lose.



• A similar winning (i.e. losing) condition is at works in Fano330-R-Morris from Masahiro Nakajima, curator of The Museum of Abstract Strategy Games in Japan. The game board shows a geometric plane of seven points and seven lines, with each line having three points on it. Players (black vs. white) first take turns placing their pieces (two triangles and two circles each) on the board, with at most two non-identical pieces on a point, then take take turns moving one of their pieces from the top of a stack to an adjacent space. If you can't move or if you create a line of three pieces of identical shape or color, you lose.

Losing situation for black, which can't move without creating a line


• The gist of Ira Fay's Ouroboros is that you want to stuff the opponent with as many colored discs as possible — but to do so, you must risk giving them opportunities to rid themselves of discs.

In more detail, you fill the board with discs in four colors, then on a turn you (1) place a black stone, collect the colored disc you covered, then give the opponent all discs either diagonally or orthogonally adjacent to the stone; (2) remove a pair of stones from the board by discarding the appropriate set of discs: four-of-a-kind, full house, etc.; or (3) discard a disc from your collection. Whoever has no discs in front of them after the first turn wins.



• You can think "football" (a.k.a. soccer) when hearing how to win Iqishiqi from João Pedro Neto and Bill Taylor — get the ball to one of your goal lines — but since you're airdropping highly precise kickers from the sky and can also win by stymieing the opponent, the comparison isn't that apt.

The ball starts at the center of a hexagonal field, and on a turn you place one stone somewhere on the playing field, either alone or as part of a group. At least one stone in the group must be in line with the ball, and the ball then moves along that line away from the group a number of spaces equal to the number of stones in the group. If you move the ball off the field or the ball can't move that many spaces, you lose; if you land the ball precisely on one of your goal lines, you win. This movement is hard to picture at first, and the number of options available to you during a game seems immense.



• Finally, we have Ni-Ju from Romeral Andrés himself. In this tile-placement game, the tiles count as both winning conditions and the things that will satisfy those conditions.

Each player has twenty tiles, with each tile showing four squares on it. Players take turns placing tiles onto the playing area, with each placed tile being adjacent to at least one other tile. If one of your tiles is ever surrounded by tiles of your color in a pattern that matches that central tile, then you win (as with the white player in the image below). If both players have placed all of their tiles with no one winning, then you take turns moving a tile with at least one free edge to a new location.

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Mon May 16, 2016 1:00 pm
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Crowdfunding Round-up: Escapism Is What the Doctor Ordered

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• The island of Vanuatu is a tropical paradise, but Alain Epron’s game of the same name has been nothing but heartburn for many folks who backed ill-fated IndieGoGo and Ulule campaigns in 2011 from then-publisher Krok Nik Douil editions. Fast forward to the present: Quined Games is publishing Vanuatu (second edition) as the 16th title in their line of bookcase editions. In a classy move, they are making free copies available to previously jilted backers (as they did with Massilia in 2014), so it’s hakuna matata for everyone. (KS link)

• Word games are being reclaimed by hobby designers left and right these days, and Wibbell++ is the latest in the revolution. Behrooz Shahriari and company have put together a game system, with multiple games that can be played with the same deck of cards. Wibbell itself is a word game that rewards quick thinking. Be the first to blurt out a word using one letter from every card. But the more rounds you win, the more cards you have to use, making your task tougher; it’s like the vocabularist’s version of a tractor pull. (KS link)

Darkest Night from Jeremy Lennert is the fourth title to be handpicked by the Victory Point Games crew for a shiny new edition, courtesy of KS pledges. The original campaign experienced a hiccup when VPG realized their audience had issues with some of the campaign structure, and it was canceled. But necromancers just can’t be kept down, as it turns out. The campaign has relaunched, none the worse for wear, including options for both miniatures lovers and standee supporters. I’m on Team Standee, myself; I love the smell of VPG soot in the morning. (KS link)

• Gil Hova’s party game Bad Medicine quickly sold out its initial print run, but it’s being reprinted by Formal Ferret Games and has even metastasized, with the new growth being the Second Opinion expansion. The crux of this pitching party game is downplaying the side effects from your pharmaceutical concoction, but this expansion adds complications, an oddly thematic new mechanism with cards that will add surprise cards to your pitch. Gil has also teased that French and German localizations might be in the works; let’s just hope the EMA doesn’t look under this particular childproof cap. (KS link)

• I can imagine that, in a few millennia, humanity will have run out of memorable titles for our petty wars, so I applaud the tongue-in-cheek backstory of Mothership: Tabletop Combat, whose events were supposedly precipitated by the “great Space Disagreement of 5406”. (Somewhere, Picard is facepalming.) Rookie designer Peter Sanderson is trying to reduce the space epic to a manageable playtime while retaining tech trees, grid-based maneuvering with asteroid fields, and pew-pew dogfights. (KS link)

• Last year, a small publisher no one had heard of called Mindclash Games stormed onto the scene with their heavy euro sim of 19th-century illusionist acts, Trickerion: Legends of Illusion. They’re staying with a euro backbone for their new release Anachrony, by the design team of Amann, Peter, and Turczi, but the plastic minis and coat of sci-fi paint will likely turn the heads of the meat-damage crowd, too. The hybrid style feels like a Schwarzenegger T-800: living tissue over metal endoskeleton. (KS link)

• When you’re creating a big, sprawling fantasy adventure game, as NSKN Games did in 2015 with Błażej Kubacki’s Mistfall, you undoubtedly have to make judicious cuts to keep the content in line with your target MSRP. I’m guessing the game has hit expected sales numbers, because it has merited a standalone expansion, dubbed Heart of the Mists. This expansion doesn’t seem to tweak the gameplay formula much, opting instead to go the variety route, adding more heroes, enemies, quests, and encounters. One can only assume that the “Bridgton Supermarket” scenario is next in line for development, right? (KS link)

• Would you rather be Indiana Jones or Rick Grimes? That’s the dilemma presented by the latest Queen Games project, which features big box editions of the popular Escape: The Curse of the Temple and its cousin Escape: Zombie City. A shrewd observer might remark that Temple has already received a big box, which is true; this second edition includes all three main expansions and all but one of the “Queenies”, as well as an updated insert to help keep it all sorted. So I guess it’s sort of the bigger big box? (KS link)

• Almost every ancient culture has a flood myth, but in a couple thousand years when inter-galactic travel is no big deal, those flood myths might be supernova myths. (The great part is that we’ll still be able to call the escape pod an “ark” since, you know, that’s a term sci-fi writers use.) Sol: Last Days of a Star, from brothers Ryan and Sean Spangler and their Elephant Laboratories imprint, is that story. You’re harvesting energy from the dying sun to power your ark, but the harvesting process is no multiplayer solitaire. (KS link)

• Veteran gamers will recognize Town of Salem: The Card Game as another riff on the classic Werewolf formula, but one with an interesting origin story: the card game is a back-formation from a video game of the same name — first browser-based and then released for Steam and mobile — originally created by Josh Brittain and Blake Burns at BlankMediaGames. Folks from villages all over have been doing play-by-email Werewolf sessions for a long time, but these guys beat everyone to the punch on actual video game implementation of that concept, and now the witchery they cooked up is paying off. (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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Mon May 16, 2016 2:35 am
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New Game Round-up: Revisiting the Renaissance, and Assassinating Hitler (But Not in the Same Game)

W. Eric Martin
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Sierra Madre Games has already placed an October 2016 release date on Bios: Genesis, as noted on BGG News in April 2016, and now SMG has two other titles due out in time for Spiel 2016 in October, with Phil and Matt Eklund's Pax Renaissance being a new version of 1996's Lords of the Renaissance. Here's an overview of the setting and gameplay:

Quote:
As a Renaissance banker, you will finance kings or republics, sponsor voyages of discovery, join secret cabals, or unleash jihads and inquisitions. Your choices determine whether Europe is elevated into the bright modern era or remains festering in dark feudalism.

In Pax Renaissance, you have two actions each turn. As in other Pax games, you can acquire cards in a market, sell them out of the game, or play them into your tableau. You can also stimulate the economy by running trade fairs and trading voyages for Oriental goods. A map of Europe with trade routes from Portugal to Crimea is included, and discovering new trade routes can radically alter the importance and wealth of empires, ten of which are in the game.

Four victories determine the future course of Western Society: Will it be towards imperialism, trade globalization, religious totalitarianism, or enlightened art and science?

Pax Pamir: Khyber Knives from Cole Wehrle boosts the variety of gameplay of 2015's Pax Pamir through the addition of six Wazir cards and 54 new games cards. To quote the publisher's description:

Quote:
Now players can attempt to use their political acumen to secure game-changing capabilities. Imprison your opponent's spies in your dungeon or rely on piracy in the Punjab to fund your ambitions. Battle for influence over the six regional governments or attempt to do your own dynasty building. Players have never had this many routes to dominance. The fight for a new Afghan future has just begun.

• For an adventurous topic being tackled in game terms, I present Philip duBarry's Black Orchestra, for which publisher Game Salute will be running a straight-up pre-order campaign instead of a Kickstarter. Here's an overview of the setting and gameplay, with much more detail on the BGG game page itself:

Quote:
As Hitler's grasp on Germany tightens and his maniacal fervor is unmasked, men from the highest levels of the Reich begin to plot his assassination. As the clock ticks and Hitler's ambitions grow, these daring few must build their strength and prepare for the perfect moment to strike. The Gestapo hound their trail, calling these conspirators "Schwarze Kapelle", the Black Orchestra. Will this band of daring patriots save their country from utter ruin before it is too late?

Black Orchestra begins with each player choosing an historic figure involved in the conspiracy against Hitler. In this dark and dangerous pursuit, motivation is perhaps your greatest weapon. If you can stay true to your convictions in the face of overwhelming threat and inspire your comrades, then you will be able to use your special ability, attempt plots, and even become zealous (necessary for some extremely daring plots).

But every move you make may also increase the suspicion of the authorities. The Gestapo will make routine sweeps, and any players with high suspicion will be arrested and interrogated (possibly resulting in other players being arrested). If you are all arrested or if the Gestapo finds your secret papers, you lose. And the suspicion placed on each conspirator will increase the chances their plots are detected.

• Gil Hova of Formal Ferret Games has signed on as the U.S. publisher of Tobias Gohrbandt and Heiko Günther's Peak Oil, with development of the game continuing ahead of a planned Kickstarter funding campaign in October 2016.

• Developer Ralph Bruhn has posted a draft cover of Stefan Feld's The Oracle of Delphi, which is currently expected out from Hall Games and Pegasus Spiele at Spiel 2016 in October, according to Bruhn.

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Thu May 12, 2016 1:00 pm
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Stronghold Games Offers a New Kraftwagen Model, Deploys The Fog of War

W. Eric Martin
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Stronghold Games has now provided more details on two titles previously teased in April 2016.

Matthias Cramer's Kraftwagen: V6 Edition is an updated version of his 2015 release Kraftwagen from ADC Blackfire Entertainment that now includes a new set of tiles that feature the next technology available at
the time, the V6 engine. Kraftwagen: V6 Edition, dubbed title #3 in Stronghold's "Great Designer Series" is due out in August 2016 and carries a $60 MSRP.

August will also see the release of The Dragon & Flagon from Brian, Geoff, and Sydney Engelstein, with that game also having a $60 MSRP. I presented an overview of that title in a March 2016 BGG News post.

Geoff Engelstein stands on his own for The Fog of War, due out from Stronghold in September 2016. Here's an overview of that title:

Quote:
The Fog of War is a two-player grand strategic game covering the European theater of World War II from 1940-1945. One player plays the Axis forces, and the other the Allies.

The game doesn't have units that move around a map; instead the game focuses on the planning and intelligence aspects of the war. Each player has a deck of cards that represent the army, navy, and other assets of their nations. A map shows the 28 land and sea provinces over which the players are battling.

You defend a province by placing cards face down on the map. If you wish to attack a province, you must plan an "Operation" to do so by creating one on your Operation Wheel. The Wheel is a unique way of forcing players to commit to operations in advance, while giving opportunities for intelligence gathering and bluffing.

An operation consists of a Province card that shows the target of the operation, plus one or more cards to conduct the attack. All of these cards are placed face down, so your opponent does not know the target of the operation, or the actual strength of the cards that are taking part.

Each turn the dial on the Operation Wheel is rotated by one position. This controls when an operation can be launched and any attack or defense bonuses that apply.

In addition to combat forces for attack or defense, you may also play Intel cards, allowing you to look at your opponent's operations and defenses.

The Fog of War is title #4 in the "Great Designer Series", with the previously announced JÓRVÍK from Stefan Feld, which is due out October 2016, being title #5.

Non-final cover
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Tue May 10, 2016 2:00 pm
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