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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

Archive for W. Eric Martin

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Widow's Walk Brings More Betrayal to the House on the Hill

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Avalon Hill delivered a shock to many gamers on April 20, 2016 by announcing Widow's Walk, a huge expansion for Bruce Glassco's Betrayal at House on the Hill that will hit stores on October 14, 2016. Here's an overview of the expansion from the publisher:

Quote:
The house on the hill has a wicked reputation. Those who dare to darken its door often leave steeped in madness and despair — if they leave at all.

Now the horror reaches new heights with Widow's Walk, the first-ever expansion for the critically acclaimed board game Betrayal at House on the Hill. The house is expanded with the addition of twenty new rooms, including the roof, a previously unexplored floor. Also in its halls you will find new monsters, items, omens, events, and fifty brand-new haunts, penned by lead developer Mike Selinker's all-star cast of contributors from the world of gaming and entertainment. In Widow's Walk, terror and panic are taken to a whole new level.

Enter if you dare. Exit if you can...

Get it? Widow's Walk includes a roof for the house and "terror and panic are taken to a whole new level"? Good multi-level wordplay there; perhaps Selinker wrote that text himself...

The Avalon Hill announcement lists more than forty people who are credited with contributing to the haunts included in Widow's Walk, and the list includes names that you'd expect to see from the base game (Glassco, Selinker, Rob Daviau), names of other board and card game designers (e.g., Paul Peterson, Justin Gary, Liz Spain, Christopher Badell, Jonathan Gilmour, Elisa Teague), and names that you probably wouldn't have expected (e.g., Adventure Time's Pendleton Ward, Feminist Frequency's Anita Sarkeesian, Cards Against Humanity's Max Temkin, Depression Quest's Zoë Quinn, The Doubleclicks' Angela Webber).

As for the compatibility of Widow's Walk with the existing editions of Betrayal at House on the Hill — both the original from 2004 and the 2010 second edition — Michael Robles, Community Manager at developer Lone Shark Games, has noted on Reddit that the expansion "is compatible with all editions".
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Thu Apr 21, 2016 1:00 pm
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New Game Round-up: A Gathering of Games, Cathala's Archipelago, and Old Favorites in New Boxes

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• I've already posted about a few of the prototypes that were played at The Gathering of Friends convention held in mid-April 2016: Codenames Pictures (here), a Quadropolis mini-expansion (here), and Dark Moon: Shadow Corporation (here).

Sean Jacquemain of The Daily Worker Placement has covered a handful of his favorite prototypes from the Gathering, including a 7 Wonders: Duel expansion that "deals with ancient Gods and how you can win their favour", Bézier Games' Colony (which I previewed in March 2016), Pretzel Games' Junk Art (which will debut at Gen Con 2016 after a sneak peek at Origins), Adrenaline (a first-person shooter from Czech Games Edition that was included in my 2015 Gathering round-up, and Bruno Cathala's Yamataï.

This last game — Yamataï, which possibly isn't the final title — is tentatively a 2017 release from Days of Wonder, something Cathala relayed to me when I had the chance to play the prototype at Gen Con 2015. (Yes, Cathala and Days of Wonder both spend a lot of time honing and testing and retesting!) Here's a short description from Jacquemain:

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Yamataï has players exploring an archipelago, picking up resources, and constructing buildings and temples.

Actions are determined by selecting tiles that come with a supply of boats and a special ability and they determine your turn order for the next round. The stronger the tile you select, the later you'll go in turn order. As you sail throughout the islands, you must decide between picking up resources or constructing buildings. Resources can help you in a number of different ways, but as you take them you free up space for other players to lay claim to the land.

You also have the ability to hire characters with unique powers associated with them. Some are only worth points, but others will give you an advantage during play.

This write-up of Yamataï on a French gamer's blog includes more pics of the prototype, with the pics showing the beginning and ending of a game. The cards at the bottom of the game board are for selecting turn order and determining your action for the round, the cards are top are the characters you can hire, and the cards at right are the buildings that can be constructed to any player.

This design already felt pretty polished at Gen Con 2015 — although the wheels did come off at one point as we couldn't seem to end the game — so I'm curious to see what's changed in the months since then.

• Designer Ignacy Trzewiczek of Portal Games has confirmed that a rethemed edition of Prêt-à-Porter is due out in 2017.

• Along the same lines, Thomas Ewert — co-designer of Container along with Franz-Benno Delonge — has posted an update on the status of the game: "The contract for Container has been expired for several years already, and all rights have reverted back to their respective designers/heirs. We are discussing the possibility of a reprint of the game with a new publisher and will keep you all informed if there is any news."

• On April 7, 2016, I mentioned a couple of items that Stronghold Games had teased when announcing its demo program: Kraftwagen: V6 Edition and The Fog of War. Now Stronghold has teased a few more items: an upgrade kit for the first edition of Stronghold by Ignacy Trzewiczek (him again!), as well as an Undead expansion for the second edition of Stronghold, which Portal Games and Stronghold jointly released at Spiel 2015 and in 2016. New editions for all!
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Wed Apr 20, 2016 2:00 pm
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New Game Round-up: Shooting Zombies on Route 666, and Bringing Kaleidos to the U.S.

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• I first wrote about Martin Wallace's Route 666 in April 2015, and now here we are again one year later with the game getting an official release date from publisher Space Cowboys of Q3 2016, with the game also being available at Gen Con 2016 in August. Here's a more detailed overview of the game compared to what we knew before:

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In the fast-paced and morbidly kitschy game Route 666, you and your fellow players embark on a road trip going south from Chicago along America's famous Route 66 — now infested by zombies. As you travel though a deck of adventure cards rife with dangers, you battle zombie hordes, drive abandoned school buses, scavenge for gas and bullets, and explore a darkened, tainted American countryside full of shambling undead, haunted carnivals, and plumes of toxic gas. Your goal is to stay alive until you reach the safe, sandy beaches of the California coast.

Three different stages of adventure cards create an experience of increasing difficulty and ensure that each playthrough is unique. Each round begins with an auction that determines both player order and which cards you will encounter. Since the resources used for bidding are the same as those used to battle the oncoming zombie hordes, your survival depends as much on your resource management as it does upon winning those bidding wars. The player who either accumulates the most points or survives the longest wins.

Zombies of all types await, with cannibals, anti-personnel mines and radioactive wastes also being among the hazards awaiting the players. Who will survive the zombie onslaught?

A press release announcing the game included this quote about the design from Wallace: "My objective was to create an adventure style game with connectivity between actions and encounters, where there are unforeseen consequences to what might seem to be rather mundane events. I am becoming increasingly drawn to designing games that have a stronger 'narrative'. I think it is an interesting challenge to create ways to tell a story within a game but in a way that the game can be played repeatedly. I also have to congratulate Space Cowboys on amazing development work. They have created a game that looks as if it is part of the world that the story is set in."

It might be hard to tell from the thumbnail image at top, but Route 666's box is made to look like a repurposed family game from decades past. Space Cowboys' distributor, Asmodee, doesn't show the back cover in its press material, but the mock-up I saw at Spielwarenmesse really sold this look. If only they can distress each game prior to shipping it. (The comics anthology Raw did this back in 1985, and I still recall the impact this had on my comics-bagging self.)


• Etienne Espreman's Bruxelles 1893 will return to print again in the U.S. in Q3 2016, according to Asmodee, which distributes titles from Pearl Games in North America.

• Designer Gil Hova of Formal Ferret Games has announced plans for Bad Medicine: Second Opinion, an expansion for Bad Medicine that will add 100-150 new cards and "a new mechanism that can add 'surprise' cards to your pitch".

• German publisher AMIGO Spiel has announced that the recently published Wizard: Jubiläumsedition is being pulled from the market as the card backs show "strong signs of wear on the card backs after a short time". If you have such a copy, write to hotline@amigo-spiele.de for a replacement.

Cool Mini Or Not has signed a deal with Spartaco Albertarelli of KaleidosGames to release his party game Kaleidos in the U.S. in Q3 2016, more than twenty years after the game debuted in Germany and was recommended by the Spiel des Jahres jury.

How do you play Kaleidos? Either individually or in teams, players all look at the same image and has sixty seconds to write down as many things they see in the imagine as possible that begin with a randomly chosen letter. Once time is up, players reveal their answers, scoring 1 point if someone else named the same thing and 3 points for an answer uniquely their own. After playing on and scoring a predetermined number of images, whichever player or team has the highest score wins.

Image from one of the Kaleidos expansions
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Tue Apr 19, 2016 1:00 pm
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Links: Nominees for the 2016 Origins Awards, Mensa Select for 2016, and Ernest and Peterson's Game Golem

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• On April 15, 2016, the Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts & Design announced the nominees for the 2016 Origins Awards, the winners of which will be revealed at the 2016 Origins Game Fair in Columbus, Ohio in June. Attendees at that convention can vote on the nominees as well to determine a fan favorite in each category. The nominees are:

—Board Games: Champions of Midgard, La Granja, New York 1901, Orléans, and Star Wars: Imperial Assault
—Card Games: 7 Wonders: Duel, Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn, The Grizzled, Medieval Academy, and Welcome to the Dungeon
—Collectible Games: DC Comics Dice Masters: War of Light, Force of Will, and Yugi's Legendary Decks (in case you're as baffled about that as I am, it's three TCG-exclusive sets released to commemorate the 15th anniversary of Yu-Gi-Oh!)
—Family Games: Codenames, Co-Mix, Dohdles!, Fuse, and Me Want Cookies!
—Miniatures Games: Frostgrave, Guild Ball, Star Wars: Armada, Warhammer: Age of Sigmar, and Wrath of Kings

• The Mensa Select winners of 2016 have been determined by the attendees of the annual Mensa Mind Games event, which was held April 15-17, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. The winners are:

Circular Reasoning
Favor of the Pharaoh
The Last Spike
New York 1901
World's Fair 1893

Image: American Mensa

• The U.S. branch of IELLO has announced a new release policy in which preorders of their games by brick-and-mortar stores will be shipped to those stores two weeks before online retailers and mass market stores receive their copies. This policy starts with its release of Sea of Clouds, Candy Chaser, and Kenjin, although due to shipping delays those titles will have an April 21, 2016 street date at B&M stores, only one week prior to their release at other locations.

• Television station KARE in Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota shared the "board games are booming" trend with a story of a British family that traveled to the Fantasy Flight Games Center in Roseville, Minnesota instead of Walt Disney World. (The TV host goofed, though, as the games are designed, not manufactured, in that part of the world. Anyone who shows up at the Games Center expected to see X-Wings rolling off the production line like Krispy Kreme donuts will be extremely disappointed.)

• Designers James Ernest and Paul Peterson showed up on Twitch channel Hyper RPG!'s show "Grab Bag" to take parts from Tsuro, Loot, and Mage Knight Board Game, then design a new game with them. What did they come up with? A co-op game called Mr. Dragon Bro!

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Mon Apr 18, 2016 2:22 pm
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New Game Round-up: Works in Progress — Zombies Around the Dark Moon in 80 Days

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Twilight Creations has announced that it plans to release a Zombies!!! Ultimate Collector Set in 2016, with this item being a giant carrying case that can hold all fifteen Zombies!!! sets released (to date).

The case — shown below as a work in progress — will be available on its own or jam-packed with all fifteen Zombies!!! titles. The publisher notes in its announcement, "We originally wanted to do this as a Kickstarter, but to save you all (the customer) money we will be offering this through retailers as well as [via] direct sales. Hopefully this will be available by Halloween — if all goes well."

In a separate announcement, Twilight Creations revealed that Midnight Syndicate will produce a "dark instrumental album, which will feature new and previously recorded material blended with movie-style sound design" to serve as a soundtrack to accompany the playing of Zombies!!!. From the press release:

Quote:
"We've been talking about doing this project for a long time," said Edward Douglas. "With Zombies!!! celebrating its 15th anniversary in 2016, now seemed like the perfect time. We're working closely with the Twilight team to create something that really enhances their players' gaming experience."

"Musically, it will be interesting to work in a modern setting," added Gavin Goszka. "Most of our albums have been set in the Victorian and early 20th century, so this will definitely be something different and exciting for us and our fans."

Twilight Creations anticipates releasing this soundtrack in September 2016, and it will be included in both the empty and game-filled versions of the Zombies!!! Ultimate Collector Set. An Ultimate Upgrade Kit is also in the works for Zombies!!!, with details of this item to be announced at a later date.




• Continuing the theme this post of "works in progress", in this blurry pic from The Gathering of Friends, Stronghold Games owner Stephen Buonocore "revealed" the Dark Moon expansion Shadow Corporation. Whether this is something under development, under contract, or under consideration for possible publication in the future is, like the picture, unclear.



• In early 2014, I wrote that French publisher Purple Brain Creations was publishing a new version of Gary Kim's Royal Turtle as The Hare and the Tortoise as part of its "Tales & Games" series.

Now the name of that familiar fable is coming up once again as PBC plans to launch a new series of "storybook games" — one aimed at an older audience than "Tales & Games" — in 2016 with a new version of David Parlett's Hare & Tortoise, with this design being revamped to have players live the story of Jules Verne's Around the World in 80 Days. As noted on Tric Trac, Tom Vuarchex is handling the graphic design of this game (and the subsequent series), and he's taking inspiration from the look of Pierre-Jules Hetzel editions of the Verne novels released in the mid-1800s. The design is still a work in progress, but I practically fell out of my chair when I saw the pics below that PBC's Benoît Forget posted on Facebook. So gorgeous!


Then Forget followed up by posting this teaser of what might come in the future, stressing that David Parlett is not the author of every game in this series — simply a placeholder for this work in progress by Vuarchex:

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Fri Apr 15, 2016 1:00 pm
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New Game Round-up: Revisiting Vanuatu, Joining La Cosa Nostra, and Obtaining Happiness from Tramways

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• In March 2016, I noted that Quined Games planned to release a second edition of Alain Epron's Vanuatu at Spiel 2016 as part of its Master Print Series, with this edition including both the Rising Waters and Governor expansions.

Ahead of a Kickstarter project for this new edition that will launch in late April 2016, Quined has issued the following press release about Epron's failed attempts to deliver a new printing of the game in 2012:

Quote:
A few years ago, we decided to publish Vanuatu. We fell in love with the game and decided to breathe new life into this forgotten gem. We decided to give the game a whole new makeover and we decided also to include the expansion The Rising Waters. We were aware at the time that there had been problems with the initial crowdfunding campaign, and although we had nothing to do with this campaign, we have now decided – together with designer Alain Epron – to give the unfortunate backers who never caught their copy a generous compensation.

Every backer of the original campaign that did NOT receive their game (or the expansion) will receive their copy (or copies) for FREE. Yes, because we are nice that way. How will this work? Well, we kindly ask each one of the backers to send an e-mail to kickstarter@quined.nl with your full name, address, phone number, and a copy of the original e-mail you received during the original Ulule/Indiegogo campaign, clearly detailing the precise quantities of the copies that you ordered originally. The mail address mentioned in that original e-mail should be the one you send the e-mail from as proof. One word of warning though: Since this is a gift to you previous backers, one thing we do ask of you though is to cover the shipping costs. We hope you understand this. We will also arrange for a pick-up option at the following fairs: Spiel 2016 (DE), Spellenspektakel 2016 (NL), and Spel 2016 (BE). So shoot us an e-mail before 31-08-2016 and we will be in touch.

• Quined Games plans to follow up that KS with a separate crowdfunding campaign in June 2016 for an English-language edition of Johannes Sich's La Cosa Nostra, which he had self-published in 2014 through Hard Boiled Games. This release will be title #17 in Quined's Master Print Series. Here's an overview of this design:

Quote:
In La Cosa Nostra, you take on the role of a mafia boss. In the beginning, you control a crew of gangsters and a couple of businesses. During the game, you will hire new gangsters to do the dirty work and collect your money. Investments lead to new lines of business or monopoly positions: take control of the drug dealing, moneylending or prostitution. Bribe politicians and cops, invest your money in night clubs, casinos or the waste management industry. To get the big deals, you need to cooperate with the other families — but never rely on those "friendships". The others will take the first opportunity to stab you in the back, so you better do it first...

Each player controls gangster cards that serve to either gain money or attack other players. Actions are planned secretly, placed face down, then played in turn. Often you need certain business cards to succeed. If you don't own them yourself, you can negotiate deals with the other players. The players bargain, spy, threaten, and deceive each other.

Each of the four rounds brings new action cards into the game, and the number of gangsters increases. Thus, the possibilities for actions become more diverse, the jobs more profitable, and the attacks more powerful. Co-operation gets more attractive and treason alluring because at the end of the day money is the only thing that counts.

• To continue the trend this post of covering games prior to their appearance on Kickstarter, here's an overview of Alban Viard's Tramways, which will appear from his own AVStudioGames in October 2016 in time for Spiel. Yes, this whole thing is also secretly a Spiel 2016 preview post. It's already getting to be that time!

Tramways, which will appear in Kickstarter in May 2016, is being incorporated into the world that Viard has been building one game at a time over the past few years:

Quote:
The 1920s: Small City was founded just a few years ago and is still a fledgling town at this stage. Nonetheless, the Town Center is prosperous, and the managers of the weird CliniC have been duly incarcerated for years by this point. Now it is time to reach a new step: Building a new map transit.

In Tramways, you take the role of one of the managers of the local CliniC who were fired last month when it was discovered that you had acquired wealth on the backs of patients and their poor health. You are now at the head of a team of engineers, ready to build the best and most effective network possible for Small City. Your aim is to find the best places between buildings and citizens so that they can use your networks (and not those of your opponents, who are always ready to buy the most interesting development areas). Be assured that a happy citizen who is able to move where and when he wants will thank the best transport companies. There is nothing that satisfies a chief manager more than seeing citizens happy...

The game is divided into six rounds, each of which is divided into two halves:

• During the first half of a round, players compete to acquire the best development cards to create their most efficient deck. An original auction phase also determines turn order — and being the first player increases your stress level.

• During the second half, they play a train game, using their deck to try to build a great network between the different buildings of Small City. They try to move passengers without stressing them during the transit, in the end obtaining happiness points, which is the aim of the game.

The more that players use the symbols on their cards, the more actions they can do, but they also increase their stress level at the same time, which leads to negative victory points...

Prototype components
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Thu Apr 14, 2016 1:00 pm
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New Game Round-up: Dark Souls on Your Table, and Diamonds in Your Treasure Chest

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• Apparently I need to start paying attention to video games as more and more of them are making their way from the consoles to the dining room table, as with the news that Steamforged Games will release a Dark Souls board game, with the project hitting Kickstarter on April 19, 2016. Here's a game overview from the publisher:

Quote:
The Dark Souls board game is a brutally hard exploration miniatures game for 1-4 players. Prepare to die.

The game features a "fast set-up, long reveal" mechanism that gets you into the game quickly and builds the location as you explore. The sense of danger is palpable as you discover new locations and the monsters that inhabit these dark places. The core combat mechanism and enemy behavior system forces deep strategic play and clever management of stamina to survive.

Dark Souls includes numerous boss and mini-boss encounters — including one against the Dragon Slayer Ornstein and Executioner Smough — and utilizes an innovative behavior mechanism so that no two encounters are ever the same, thus giving the game near infinite replayability.

In announcing the project, Steamforged stressed that it has "worked closely with the team at BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment" and that "with the entirety of the Dark Souls universe available to us" the core game will include enemies and bosses from both older games and Dark Souls III.

Core game? Miniatures? Kickstarter? Popular video game series? And, lo, did the cash rain down upon them, burying them up to their happy necks with gilded treasure...

Teaser image of possible miniatures

North Star Games has signed a deal with Funforge for a French version of the Evolution base game, with this version due out before the end of 2016 in all French-speaking countries.

• Uli Blennemann from Spielworxx notes that an upgrade kit for Stefan Risthaus's Arkwright, presumably to match the changes in Capstone's second edition of the game, has been printed and should be available before the end of April 2016.

• Blennemann also states that ADC Blackfire is producing a small extension for Martin Schlegel's just released West of Africa that will be available "shortly".

• Jinkies! Designer Bruno Faidutti has shared the cover of the new edition of Diamant, co-designed with Alan R. Moon, that IELLO will release in Europe in July 2016. As noted in a write-up on Tric Trac, this version includes both the pawns and game board of the original Diamant as well as the artifact cards and the should-I-stay-or-should-I-go cards of Incan Gold. (Yes, we should probably merge the game listings of these two titles, but I don't know whether we will.)

For those who haven't played, Diamant is a great press-your-luck game that handles up to eight players, with everyone exploring a cave together to pocket whatever gems they can. However, everyone must split the haul evenly, so as you progress in each cave, you hope that other explorers will be unnerved by the danger signals around you and leave the cave, thereby allowing you to grab more gems for yourself. The risk, however, is that danger actually arrives, in which case you lose everything you would have gained from that cave.

I've played my copy of Diamant more than eighty times and recently sleeved the cards as they were starting to stick after so much use. It will be good to have a decent replacement for it!

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Wed Apr 13, 2016 3:30 pm
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New Game Round-up: Setting Up Defense Grid, Reviving Arcane Academy, and Expanding Public Service

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• Forged by Geeks is a new U.S. publisher that plans to release Defense Grid: The Board Game, a board game version of the Defense Grid video game franchise, in early 2017. Here's an overview of the gameplay:

Quote:
In the cooperative deck-building game Defense Grid: The Board Game, players must face off against waves and waves of aliens as they try to #ProtectTheCores. How you construct your deck for each mission is just as important as where you place your towers and which ones you choose to power each round.

Defense Grid: The Board Game includes at least ten missions and six AI characters from which to choose. Over the course of the game, players unlock new AI improvements, AI abilities, towers, and cards that they can use to go for the Gold Medal on each mission as they fight to #ProtectTheCores.

• In August 2013, I wrote about Generation Hex, a design from Eric M. Lang and Kevin Wilson that U.S. publisher Th3rd World Studios planned for release in 2014, but then never delivered. That title has now been picked up by IDW Games for co-publication in August 2016 under the title Arcane Academy. Here's an overview of the setting:

Quote:
Challenge rival students to become the best in class in Arcane Academy, an innovative board game of tile-linking, wizardry for 2-4 players that pits young spellcasters against one another in a duel for honor and prestige. Forge potent magic items and wield wickedly powerful elemental energies to outthink and outmaneuver your opponents in this elegantly simple and quick-to-learn board game that will appeal to families and experienced players alike!

Arcane Academy is based on the critically acclaimed, all-ages comic series Finding Gossamyr, which is set in a fantasy world in which math is the language of magic.

• On Opinionated Gamers, editor Dale Yu has presented an overview of a Quadropolis mini-expansion in the works from François Gandon and Days of Wonder, with the expansion currently consisting of twenty public service buildings, each with a special scoring condition (e.g. +1 VP per park in your city) in addition to the regular scoring.

Alderac Entertainment Group plans to release Benjamin Schwer's Yeti in the U.S. in September 2016, following the game's debut in Europe in mid-March 2016 from Pegasus Spiele.

• For its English-language version of Yusuke Sato's TimeBomb, Indie Boards & Cards replaced the terrorist vs. SWAT setting with one of investigators trying to keep cultists from waking Cthulhu. For the French-language version coming from IELLO, the game will be titled Timebomb: Sherlock vs. Moriarty. Notes IELLO's Matthieu Bonin:

Quote:
The challenge for us was to keep the bomb disarming theme (which is perfect for this game, I think), but without the unfortunate link to tragic recent (or future) events.

For this reason we needed a strong theme, something that people can identify immediately as being totally fictional, and Sherlock achieves that perfectly: everyone knows Moriarty is evil, and trying to bomb Big Ben is something quite likely from him. But no one can accuse him of being anything [other] than the great British crime lord we all know...

There was no easy theme for this game, but Sherlock became the obvious one.


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Tue Apr 12, 2016 1:00 pm
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New Game Round-up: Duelling on Level 99, Getting Lost in R'lyeh, and Busting Yet More Ghosts

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• U.S. publisher Level 99 Games is beefing up its two-player Duelist Line in late 2016/early 2017 with the release of the Duelist Library, a collection of five new two-player-only titles. Four of these games will be available individually, while the collection includes a bonus fifth game as well as "a package of additional expansion cards that tie the various games together", according to the publisher.

Three of the titles have been announced to date, with one of them being Professor Treasure's Secret Sky Castle from Jason D. Kingsley, a "a competitive puzzle game in which you and your opponent race to find keys, unlock treasure chests, and collect priceless treasures from around the world and history".

Ballistic Reign from Michael and Lisa Eskue is set in Level 99's World of Indines, home to BattleCON, Argent, Pixel Tactics, and more. Here's an overview of the setting and gameplay:

Quote:
War has come to the World of Indines. As the Mercenary King Gerard Matranga makes his bid to become the absolute ruler of Relecour, the fearful barons lock themselves away in fortresses of ancient stone. Mercenaries from across the world take to the field of battle, waging a proxy war on behalf of their opulent masters.

Take control of one of the Mercenary Companies of Indines in Ballistic Reign and put your mastery of battlefield strategy to the test! Build great siege engines, cast powerful war magic, and erect impenetrable fortresses on the field of battle. Use your workers carefully to balance between maintaining your forces and manning the units and structures you build. Invest your time in spell research, economic development, defense, and offense by working together and against other mercenary companies and capturing neutral locations in your campaign. Only the shrewdest tactician will be able to conquer their foe and bring peace to Indines once more!

Play as ten different Mercenary companies from the World of Indines universe, each with their own weapons, spells, and leader! Recruit from over seventy different units and strongholds to build your forces!


Alex Brock's Card Fusion Chaos expands upon the metalevel gaming in Level 99's Millennium Blades:

Quote:
For centuries, the heroes of the world have used the power of Millennium Blades trading cards to protect the world from evil. The most powerful weapons in their arsenal were Fusion Cards – cards that combined the incredible powers hidden away within the game, bringing out their true potential. With the world in chaos once more, a new champion must master Card Fusion in order to defend earth!

Using your collection of trading cards and mystical Fusion Gems in Card Fusion Chaos, you combine cards together to create the most unbalanced, overpowered cards you can imagine. Clash with your rival to uncover shards of the Master Fusion Gem. The first player who can acquire enough shards to assemble the Master Gem will be declared the new champion of earth!

Card Fusion Chaos includes more than eighty already-overpowered trading cards that you can combine into more than 350,000 unique fusion combinations!

• In June 2016, Atlas Games will release Lost in R'lyeh, a card game from Kedric Winks in which the last player with cards still in hand loses the game. Here's an overview of gameplay:

Quote:
Each turn choose to play either event cards and horror cards. Play the largest card sets you can to unlock ever-mightier powers. When the time is right, transition from playing cards from your hand to eliminating your array of escape cards. What's more, decide each turn whether picking up the whole stack will help you win, even though you're ultimately trying to get rid of cards.

• While Uwe Rosenberg's A Feast for Odin will be released in Germany in September or October 2016, Frank Heeren from Feuerland Spiele says that the game will be out in English from Z-Man Games ahead of the this: "They are aiming for Origins Game Fair, but the plan is tight, so it might be Gen Con in the end for the English release." He adds, "It will be our biggest game so far and we are very ex[c]ited about it. With 4.8 inches in depth it tops even Caverna!"

• Designer Jamey Stegmaier of Stonemaier Games has dropped word of the next project he'll announce: a "legacy Euro" game titled Charterstone, with an overview of that game to be revealed by the end of April 2016. (The link jumps to a spot mid-video when Stegmaier diverges from his previous topic to reveal tiny drops of information.)

• Geek & Sundry has posted a list of the promos available at participating stores on International TableTop Day on April 30, 2016, so if you want to increase the percentage of items in your collection that bear the likenesses of Felicia Day and Wil Wheaton, you now know what's coming.

Cryptozoic Entertainment launched a Kickstarter for Ghostbusters: The Board Game II on Monday, April 11 — with this standalone game featuring three new scenarios, KS-backer exclusive glow-in-the-dark pink dice, a whole mess of ghost and Ghostbuster miniatures, and more — and the project has already topped its $250K goal after only two hours. Craziness, man. (KS link)

Curiously, original Ghostbuster Ernie Hudson reprises his role as Winston Zeddemore in the teaser video on the KS project. One person has even backed the KS at the $2,500 level, which allows you to be a ghostbuster, receive a backstory by the writer of the Ghostbusters comic, and have a miniature of yourself. (And now the KS has passed $300K while I was busy doing something else aside from this post. The power of nostalgia combined with a 24-hour early bird discount!)
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Mon Apr 11, 2016 10:00 pm
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Crowdfunding Round-up: Pyramid-Wielding Dictators Raid the Chthonic Rails, Bound for the South Pole

W. Eric Martin
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• At NY Toy Fair 2016 in February, I ran into designer Andrew Looney, who was practically glowing while talking about Pyramid Arcade, a collection of 22 pyramid-based games created over the past two decades. Looney views this collection as the culmination of his design career, the thing he wants to be known for a century down the road when we're all collecting dust and our progeny can't stop fiddling with their neckjacks when playing tabletop games.

I caught up with Looney again at GAMA Trade Show 2016, and we caught his enthusiasm on video ahead of the Looney Labs launch of the Pyramid Arcade Kickstarter, the first second in the company's history and something they've undertaken because this project is bigger than anything it's released in the past. (KS link).




Action Phase Games has been riding Kickstarter like a Wild West superstar, jumping from one project to the next with nary a break in between. Its latest project is a monster compared to the string of small box releases before it, with Aeon's End being a co-op deck-builder from Kevin Riley in which players must defend the forgotten underground city of Gravehold. (KS link)

• The Thunder Alley: Crew Chief Expansion from Richard Launius adds many new options (crew chief cards, star drivers, season play) to Jeff and Carla Horger's Thunder Alley, and it's being released by the Horger's Nothing Now Games, with permission from original publisher GMT Games. (KS link)

• Just as the obscure Japanese release TimeBomb transformed to Don't Mess with Cthulhu, the equally obscure Japanese release Terrible Monster from Shun and Studio GG has transformed to, um, Terrible Monster. Okay, the name hasn't changed in this tiny two-player battle game from Sweet Lemon Publishing, but the art has, with the cute line drawings being replaced with an indie U.S. comic style. (KS link)

Soda Pop Miniatures and Ninja Division are working together on Rail Raiders Infinite, a sci-fi western board game from David Freeman in which players try to loot a train that unsurprisingly for a SPM release features chibi-style art and miniatures. I'm not sure where infinity enters the picture except perhaps in the optimism expressed over the possible number of backers. (KS link)

The Vampire, the Elf and the Cthulhu from Luca Ricci and Giochix.it fulfills the Cthulhu portion of this c.f. post, but in this game players deal with the Great Old One and other fantasy elements in an abstract way as they represent writers who through card play are trying to complete a novel. (KS link, Giochistarter link)

• Lovecraft's creations also pop up in NecronomiCards, Andy Hunt's self-published card game that has players putting runes into sets in order to cast summon spells and unleash special effects upon an entirely suspecting tableful of opponents. (KS link)

Pleasant Company Games has adopted an understandably harsh look for Snowblind, a dice-based press-your-luck and risk management game from Simon McGregor, Simmy Peerutin, and Rob van Zyl that has players competing to get their expedition to the South Pole first. (KS link)

• A race of a different sort takes place in Revenge of the Dictators from Black Box Adventures and designers Damoiseaux, Latten, and Manzhelevska, with the player-dictators racing across the U.S. to reach Washington DC first. They need to cooperate along the way to disarm the country's nuclear facilities (and thereby protect their homelands), but dictators don't have the best reputation for working well with others. (KS link)

Zephyr: Winds of Change from designers Aaron Kluck and Jon Mietling and publisher Portal Dragon features transparent crew cards that combine with role cards to create different combinations of powers that players then use to create and upgrade airships. (KS link)

• Designer Kris Gould of Wattsalpoag Games has a new set of five expansions — hotel cards, guest markers, jumbo jets, and more — for his 2008 title Jet Set in Jet Set: Jumbo Jets – Expansion Set 2. (KS link)

• Corné van Moorsel's Fit the Word! from his own company Cwali is a different take on the "fill in the blank" gameplay seen in Cards Against Humanity and its many spinoffs. In this game, each player receives their own sentence, secretly chooses a word/phrase card to fill the blank, then mixes up those cards with everyone else's before trying to guess who has created which combinations. (KS link)

• In Robin David's Sub Rosa: Spies for Hire from Uncanny Cardboard, players bid for control of the spies in question or use their bid tokens to activate the powers of those spies, which might mix up those aforementioned bids. (KS link)

Thrashing Dice: Assassin Edition from Tailor Games is a revised version of Biela and Matusik's Thrash'n Roll from 2015, with this version now supporting both solitaire play and band battles with up to five players. (Spieleschmiede link)

• I'm not sure what to make of Rodger Deering's Dungeon Crusade - Book I: Genesis of Evil other than to say it looks like the work of someone who has been focused on nothing else for the past decade. (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 Apr 10, 2016 1:00 pm
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