W. Eric Martin
• French publisher IELLO has launched its first Kickstarter campaign for Frédérick Condette's Guardians Chronicles, a superhero-themed one-against-many game that features miniatures and more miniatures. (KS link) Here's a rundown of the gameplay:
Guardians Chronicles is a superhero-themed miniatures game in which you play as one of the members of the Liberty Patrol or as the group's archnemesis, Professor Skarov.
To set up, the Skarov player arranges the nine double-sided game board tiles into a 3x3 grid, with his control room in the center space. Each player takes her character sheet, miniature and 7-10 action cards. These characters enter the grid on one of the side tiles and need to advance around the square – confronting minions and traps along the way – in order to achieve whatever objectives are in place for this game, such as thwarting a nuclear missile attack.
Each turn, the hero players play 1-2 action cards; each card shows both a special power and modifiers to that hero's inherent statistics – movement, attack, defense and mental – and the played cards can be used for either the special power or the modifiers. Each hero player has four actions in a round, and the players can play in any order they wish; the actions are move across the base, attack an enemy, or use a special power on a played action card or the hero's character sheet.
Professor Skarov then receives a number of action points based partially on the heroes' actions, and he uses these to activate himself, his minions, or his robots, with these figures also performing move, attack, or special power actions.
As the players complete (or fail to complete) objectives, the newspapers report on who did what, and the sum of those reports determine who comes out on top.
• Designer Alban Viard and publisher Ludibay have teamed up to produce a third edition of Viard's Town Center with revised graphics by Eclipse's Sampo Sikiö and improved components. (Note that the cover image shown at left is from the second edition.) Ludibay released Viard's Card City, the first title in his "Small City" trilogy, and this new edition represents an upgrade from the first two editions, one of which Viard shipped inside a miniscule box and the other of which consisted of LEGO bricks in the various components colors. (Indiegogo link) Two expansions for the game are available for the first time through this project, with previous owners getting a shot at them in the months ahead once this clears the bar. Here's a rundown of the gameplay:
In Town Center, players build a city – in particular, the town center. They add cubes on their personal board and try to arrange them as best as possible in order to score the most victory points. Each cube represents a different type of module. Flats, shops, offices, generators, lifts, car parks, town hall can be built and stacked during the course of the game. Each module generates influence on adjacent land and on cubes directly below or above.
Each round, players will gain two cubes of different colors through a non-random mechanism, build them on their game board, then eventually stack them in order to make towers according to the building rules. If the players have done their job well, some modules will be able to evolve, becoming bigger in three dimensions. The last phase is an income phase in which players gain money from the shops and parking lots if they are supplied with electricity.
The bigger and higher your city is, the more victory points players will have at the end of the game, which lasts ten rounds – but do not forget to provide electricity to all your flats, shops, and lifts to make them more efficient.
• On April 17, 2013, I posted about Rikki Tahta's Coup getting picked up by U.S. publisher Indie Boards and Cards. Turns out that Indie is something of an assassin when it comes to Kickstarter projects. No sooner had I posted something about the game (having learned of it through an IBC newsletter) when Indie's Travis Worthington posted the cover image, highlighting the game's transformation into the world of The Resistance. The Kickstarter campaign itself started that same day, and after four days the project has nearly octupled the funding goal. (KS link) Indie's got a bit of experience with these things, so perhaps I shouldn't be so surprised by the professionalism of the rollout. In any case, here's an overview of gameplay in the original edition of Coup. (I'm not sure whether any of the character names or terms have changed.)
In Coup, you want to be the last player with influence in the game, with influence being represented by face-down character cards in your playing area. Each player starts the game with two coins and two influence – i.e., two face-down character cards; the fifteen card deck consists of three copies of five different characters, each with a unique set of powers:
• Duke: Take three coins from the treasury. Block someone from taking foreign aid.
• Assassin: Pay three coins and try to assassinate another player's character.
• Contessa: Block an assassination attempt.
• Captain: Take two coins from another player, or block someone from stealing coins from you.
• Ambassador: Draw two character cards from the Court (the deck), choose which (if any) to exchange with your face-down characters, then return two. Block someone from stealing coins from you.
On your turn, you can take any of the actions listed above, regardless of which characters you actually have in front of you, or you can take one of three other actions:
• Income: Take one coin from the treasury.
• Foreign aid: Take two coins from the treasury.
• Coup: Pay seven coins and launch a coup against an opponent, forcing that player to lose an influence. (If you have ten coins, you must take this action.)
When you take one of the character actions – whether actively on your turn, or defensively in response to someone else's action – that character's action automatically succeeds unless an opponent challenges you. In this case, if you can't reveal the appropriate character, you lose an influence, turning one of your characters face-up. Face-up characters cannot be used, and if both of your characters are face-up, you're out of the game.
If you do have the character in question, you reveal it, the opponent loses an influence, then you shuffle that character into the deck and draw a new one, perhaps getting the same character again and perhaps not.
The last player to still have influence – that is, a face-down character – wins the game!
• Designer Eric B. Vogel has self-published most of his designs to date (with Hibernia and Cambria later picking up new editions from a separate publisher), and he's continuing the practice with the release of the small card game Romans Go Home! from his own Vainglorious Games. Vogel talked about his efforts to go it alone in a designer diary on BGGN, and while this first-time Kickstarter has no stretch goals for the funding project, he does offer unusual incentives to encourage you to pledge more: two other cards games, one being the previously published Armorica (which I've played a few times and found enjoyable) and the other being a new auction card game titled Kola. (KS link) As Vogel notes on the project page, "I will not be releasing this game for general publication at this time. This game is ONLY available through this Kickstarter." Well, geez, now that's a tease and lure for those who want exclusives. As for the gameplay in Romans Go Home!, here's a summary:
Romans Go Home! is a fun, fast and fighty card game in which the players are Caledonian clans competing to capture the largest and most valuable Roman forts along Hadrian's Wall. Romans Go Home! is the next game in Vainglorious' Celtic Nations Series, and the first game in the series to have humorous artwork.
The game is played over three turns. Each turn, a face-up randomized row of six Roman Fort cards is dealt. Each player draws from her own deck of warrior cards, then programs six card plays in advance each turn. The warrior cards each have a battle strength value and a special text effects. Each round, players reveal one of their programmed warrior cards, resolve effects, and see which player has won the fort card for the round. The winning player discards her face-up warrior cards, while the other players retain theirs. Fort cards also have text effects, which are resolved when the fort is won. Players must anticipate their opponent's choices to succeed.
• Following the success of its initial Kickstarter project for Tsuro of the Seas, U.S. publisher Calliope Games has launched a crowdfunding project for Chris Leder's Roll For It!, which was first released through The Game Crafter. (KS link) As with other Calliope titles, Roll For It! seems aimed at the mainstream market while also providing enough to engage gamers. Here's an overview of the game:
Roll For It! is a casual, family-friendly dice and card game. Each player starts the game with six dice of a single color, and three target cards are laid face-up on the table. Players take turns doing the following: On a turn, a player rolls all of her dice not already on cards, then places any dice that match the targets on the corresponding cards. (Alternatively, before taking her turn, a player can first choose to reclaim all of her dice from all cards.)
If the player now fulfills the target with her dice – e.g., a pair of 3s, a quartet of 6s, or a specific combination of numbers – she claims the card, takes back her dice (and returns any other dice on the card to their owner), then places a new card on the table. Each card is worth a certain number of points. The first player to earn forty or more points wins!
With two sets of the game, up to eight players can compete in the same game of Roll For It!
(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)