W. Eric Martin
• "Giving people a customized die is very sexy." —Richard Garfield
King of Tokyo has an expansion due out in the near future, with it ideally being released at Gen Con 2012, according to the game's designer Richard Garfield. In an hour-long podcast at Games with Garfield, he talks about the complications involved with designing this expansion, which in the end does not include sexy customized dice, but does include separate abilities for each of the monsters – something he says was the most requested feature/addition by players.
One of Garfield's discoveries will working through possibilities for the expansion was that he didn't want to front-load complication in the game by having everyone start with a different power. In the base game, everyone starts from the same point, then they diverge as the game progresses, moving to attack other monsters, occupy Tokyo, or focus on cards based on the dice they roll and what everyone else is doing. If each player started with one or more abilities, (1) they'd have to keep in mind up to six abilities from the start of the game, which makes the game tougher to explain and get into and (2) they might be forced down a path they'd prefer not to take. After all, if your powers relate to gaining and using cards, and you prefer to attack, your monster works against your inclinations, making the game less fun for you.
In the end, each player will have a set of eight cards specific to her monster and these cards start the game face-down. When a player rolls three hearts, she can activate one of her cards, allowing her monster to make a one-time surprise play or level up with a constant ability.
The entire podcast would likely be of interest to anyone who cares about game design as Garfield and Skaff Elias go through the many ups-and-downs of the King of Tokyo expansion as well as other aspects of game design and submission. King of Tokyo fans, on the other hand, might want to listen for hints of what else might be published for the game in the future. (HT: Chris Schreiber)
• Michael Schacht's Call to Glory, announced the other day on BGGN, is now in the BGG database and revealed to be a new version of Crazy Chicken with a Japanese setting. While the basic game play remains the same as in that game – or rather its previous successor Drive since Call to Glory is for 2-4 players – the Q3 2012 title from White Goblin Games also includes two variants: one in which you're trying to achieve particular targets in order to score imperial tasks, and another in which the ninja cards provide an extra bonus for players.
• Reiner Stockhausen's Siberia, which I noted the other day will be distributed in the U.S. by Coffee Haus Games, will also be distributed in France by Oya, according to TricTrac.net.
• Following up on the Town Center announcement from yesterday, designer/self-publisher Alban Viard has passed along news of his Age of Steam expansions for 2012. Notes Viard, "As a big fan of Age of Steam, you can't forget it is the tenth anniversary of its release." As such, Viard has designed not one pair of expansions, but two: Age of Steam: Tibet and Cyprus and Age of Steam: Las Vegas and Korea (N&S).
"I mixed simple twists with original new rules as usual with my latest expansions," says Viard. In the former set, players can use sherpa discs to help deliver cubes through otherwise impassable Tibetan mountains, while in the three-player-only Cyprus one player controls the Greeks, another the Turks, and the third the UN, with each player having particular strengths and weaknesses. In the latter set, players build a network in Vegas while also looking for money on the game board; in Korea, the building costs and availability of cubes matches what you'd expect – cheap and sparse in the North, expensive and plentiful in the South – with rising delivery costs across the DMZ as the game progresses.
Says Viard, "These two sets can not be split, and I offer a completely new pair of expansions for SNCF (Paris Connection) for customers who order the four Age of Steam expansions. The price of the set will be €50, which I think should be around $70 including shipping to U.S." Delivery will start at the end of May 2012; email Viard at ageofsteam2012ATgmail.com if you're interested.
• Wow, this is turning into a total follow-up post for previous BGGN posts. The Doom That Came To Atlantic City, covered on BGGN here, is now live on Kickstarter. As someone commented on the BGGN post, this game is a riff on Monopoly with players playing one of eight Great Old Ones. Sculptor Paul Komoda has created GOO figures available in pewter and stainless steel at various KS levels.