W. Eric Martin
• In October 2016, I published an item about WizKids partnering with Lookout Games to create upgrade kits for the revised edition of Agricola.
These kits, which are due out May 2017 and carry a $25 MSRP, have now been revealed in more detail, with each Agricola Game Expansion (name possibly not final) including five pre-painted miniatures that can replace a player's wooden bits in the base game and twenty new cards designed by Agricola creator Uwe Rosenberg, with some number of the cards being exclusive to each of the six expansions. The miniatures are the same in each upgrade kit, with the color highlights (blue, red, yellow, green, tan, purple) changing from kit to kit.
• Other titles coming from WizKids in 2017 include The Banishing from new designer Sean Rumble, which is due out in March. I know nothing other than this brief game description:
A dark void has opened, and undead creatures are attempting to enter our world. You have come together as guardians who must work together to force the undead back through the void. However, the longer it takes, the stronger the undead become, threatening to overwhelm all.
In The Banishing, players collect cards from the Void to form melds to cast unique spells and effects in an effort to complete the ritual of Banishing, which will hurl the undead back through the Void. Players must work together to create those melds, as well as to protect and heal each other from attacks by the undead in order to succeed.
• Daryl Andrews and Stephen Sauer, who have worked together previously on Caffeine Rush and The Walled City: Londonderry & Borderlands, are the designers behind Tower of London, a 3-5 player game expected out in April 2017, the cover of which may or may not be complete as it seems dark and unfinished to my marketing eye. Here's what you're doing in the game:
In Tower of London, players fight for control of the tower using their influence to occupy different buildings and gather ravens. Each turn, players play two cards: the first card determines which building their Beefeater (guard) goes into, and the second card has a special power that triggers from the perspective of the Beefeater just placed.
At the end of a round, certain areas of the tower are scored based on who controls the majority of buildings by having the most Beefeaters in each. The game ends at the end of three rounds or when a player collects seven ravens, in which case the game ends immediately.
• Tournament at Camelot is the second title from Karen Boginski and Jody Barbessi, who previously created the gorgeous Renaissance Wars for U.S. Games Systems (a game I don't recall previously but which I included in a crowdfunding round-up in March 2015). They're joined by Ken Shannon on this 3-6 player trick-taking game due out in May 2017. A summary:
In the time of King Arthur, knights displayed their skill and prowess at tournaments held throughout the land.
In Tournament at Camelot, you play as a legendary character who is battling opponents with weapon cards: arrows, swords, deception, sorcery, and even alchemy. The more you injure your opponents, the better you fare in the tournament. However, even the most injured characters can make a complete comeback with the grace of Godsend cards and the aid of their special companions.
This trick-taking game ends when one opponent has been injured to the point of death. The player with the most health is then declared the tournament victor!
• I feel like I've posted a lot of robot combat games in the near past — possibly the distant past as well — and it's not clear from the description of Dicebot Megafun, due out June 2017, how it might differ from any of those other ones, but we have six months in which to await more details than this:
In the future, robots battle it out to the amusement of humans, and in Dicebot Megafun players are the robots who must reach into the junkyard to grab dice displaying various parts and place them on their robot sheet. Each player places six parts dice onto their sheet: five in the body area and one in the head.
Then players simultaneously choose weapon cards to play, which require the parts retrieved from the junkyard. Each weapon card has a cost in parts to pay as well as speed, direction of fire and damage, and an occasional special text ability. Some weapon cards include uzis, lasers, rifles, bombs, jammers, viruses, blue shells, shields, etc. Be the first robot to win three combats!
For advanced play, each player is given a special ability activated by kill points, which are acquired by dealing the final blows to robots in combat.
• Finally, in the category of old news not covered here previously: The Dungeons & Dragons-based Assault of the Giants board game, which WizKids announced in June 2016, will be released in two versions instead of one. At the time of announcement, the game was listed with a $100 MSRP, but it turns out that the regular edition of the game — one with the twelve giants miniatures in a single color — will retail for $80, while the premium edition will include fully painted miniatures for a $120 MSRP. Whichever version you get, the miniatures range in size from 60 mm to more than 90 mm.
WizKids lists a February 2017 release date for Assault of the Giants.