The time has come once again for a post solely dedicated to board game hype. Even when I think there can’t possibly be any more to get excited over, another awesome game comes a-blippin’ onto my radar. I love delving into upcoming games and new releases- call it window shopping, call it research, but either way I’ve found some fantastic stuff that I’m very keen to share with you…
I was a late bloomer to Kickstarter. I became a backer for the first time last year and up until that point I was fairly clueless and slightly dubious as to what it was all about. But I finally took the plunge and since those initial experiences I’ve come to discover how the buzz can get under your skin. Once you get the backing bug (which does make it sound like some sort of horrible illness, sorry) it’s difficult to stop. It’s fortunate in a way that I’m not currently able to make large pledges because I would just be throwing my money at publishers. But I must ‘fess up to being super frustrated of late at missing out on a couple I would of loved to back (namely Roll Player reprint + expansion). What I do like however are the affordable games. For the penny conscious amongst us, it’s always nice to have a few on offer that won’t leave you flat broke, and I also like when there’s a decent notice period- the kind where you think ‘ok, it’s couple of months down the line, maybe I’ll have some disposable income by then…’ The drawback to KS is that there is no barrier as to what can end up there, so it’s sadly awash with a few heinous excuses for tabletop games. So it’s important not to forget about the good and worthwhile games; the truly decent stuff that needs backers to make a great concept a reality.
Back in a January vlog I mentioned Oaxaca: Crafts of a Culture being one to keep tabs on- six months later (and much embarrassment over getting the pronunciation so horribly, horribly wrong) Oaxaca is launching next week (12th June). You are honing your skills in various traditional handicrafts of the Oaxaca culture, using cards and pool building to create the most desirable and valuable market stall. You can read more and try the PnP here.
Mint Delivery is a follow up from last year’s hugely successful Mint Works. I have sung its praises on a number of occasions and rightly so, it’s a fabulous small footprint game that I’ve really enjoyed, and I especially love the solo variant. Mint Delivery is set in the Mintopia universe, only this time we’re picking up, delivering and managing mints. I’ve played the PnP and am very impressed so far. Mint Works was straight up thinky worker placement wrapped up in a kitschy little bundle, Mint Delivery feels like a natural progression of that. This is a lot more layered, with a subtle complexity, enough so for experienced gamers to appreciate but easy-to-pick-up gameplay for newcomers to the hobby and I love where Justin is taking this. I need to play more to write it up in full and as it’s still in playtesting it’s going to possibly progress & alter further. I’m certainly looking forward to the final results, especially as a solo game. So, eyes peeled for Mint Delivery and you can try the PnP here. Thanks again to Justin Blaske for the prototype.
A while back I remember having a conversation about the use of animal characters in games. Then I heard that Dale of Merchants creator Sami Laakso was designing a different kind of game set in Daimyria, where Dale of Merchants hails from. So imagine my delight at receiving a Snowdale Designs newsletter informing me that Dawn of Peacemakers is scheduled for fall ’17. Dale 1 & 2 were a little before my Kickstarter days begun, but I have since purchased and played both of the games and think they are wonderful. This looks epic. Peacemakers is to be a co-op fantasy wargame using an evolving campaign style set up. My mind is boggling with the possibilities here, but I’m thinking: fantasy adventure, animals miniatures, unlocking secret surprises from a box full of goodies, terrain building and story telling- I’m in. I love when designers push the boundaries and change things up, and I think Sami is the man for the job in this case. Read about it in link above. I’m backing this, enough said. Thanks for the hi res images Sami!
I really liked Terraforming Mars, it was one of my top games of 2016 and I’ve blogged about it a couple of times over the past few months (and it has since been Spiele nominated!) So I’m sure by now we all know the general gist of what TM is about. I am very much looking forward to this expansion. At times an expansion can seem a trifle unnecessary, especially when there’s already a heavy game going on. But I have to make an exception for TM, because yes, I want more. And maybe I should start saying ‘yes’ to expansions and ‘no’ to more new games? I’ve been thinking about this a lot recently, but that’s definitely a post for another day. Anyway, in Hellas & Elysium we have two new maps added to the base game that have their own milestones and awards, taking the game in a different direction and giving us more stuff to do when terraforming Mars. Yay! See link above for further deets.
Yes. Yes. Yes. I’m all in for this expansion that is actually a quartet of expansions. I first played Splendor a few years ago when I was new to the hobby, and loved it. As more time has passed the less it has made it’s way onto the table. It’s often a front-runner as a title to introduce new gamers to. It’s straightforward to pick up, easy to set up and generally a smooth little ride down the set collection route. But it’s got to the point now where as I have evolved as a tabletop gamer the less inclined I’ve been to to play Splendor regularly. I think an expansion would zhoosh it up for me a treat. This is 4 expansions in one, 4 independent games that integrate with the base game and each other. How fantastic is that?
The UKGE Faves
I wasn’t able to make it to UKGE this year, but of course I stalked Instagram and Twitter during the 3 day period to see what the scoop was. There were a couple of titles that cropped up time and time again, so of course I went to find out more…
This is one of the reasons I was gutted to have missed last weekend. The Cousins’ War is a two-player game of battle and area control, driven by cards to deploy troops and bluffin’ dice to determine the outcome. I’m kind of envisioning Inis on a micro scale (but without the card drafting) with some crunchy game play. I’m looking forward to finding out.
This was a Kickstarter game that I definitely missed somewhere down the line, and it sounds like a right little gem. An abstract strategy game designed for super quick play, using dice to determine which actions you can take to deposit parcels around 5 locations. I love small footprint games and I’m always interested in abstracts. This is probably the kind of thing that will leave me puzzling over what I could of done but didn’t do for days after playing, and wanting just one more game. Hopefully it will be retailing soon!
The Hotness: Renegade Game Studios
Renegade have several titles lined up for the coming months and I’m intrigued by all of them. They are as follows: Fox in The Forest; a fairy tale esque trick taking two-player, Flipships; a sci fi themed dexterity game, Sentient; limited information at the moment but I’m liking what I’ve read so far- programming a valuable network of robots in a cyber future. Lastly, Atlas: Enchanted Lands– a set collection card game themed around magic and fairies. Will they all be as good as they sound? Coming from a roster of already well received and generally bloody fabulous games (Lotus and The Blood of an Englishman are up there for me, and Fuse/Flatfline are high on my wishlist) I’m pretty damn confident that these are well worth looking into further in the next few months.
And the rest….
Yes, I like the theme, I’m not going to lie I’m sold on that (trading, building and travelling across the 16th Ganges). But more to the point the designers are the same team behind one of my solid favourites, Village, and created the Spiele nominated Exit series (I’m yet to play my copy of Abandoned Cabin) so this puts ROFG in a whole new light for me. I’ve heard good things, it sounds great, and visually it’s gorgeous.
An economic card game where you are playing as baristas starting up your very own coffee enterprise in Berlin. I don’t have any solid information other than what’s on BGG at the moment, I discovered this one through my UKGE stalk-a-thon. I think it sounds like a friendlier Arkwright- managing and adjusting your business to meet consumer needs and thrash your opposition. I’m really excited to find out more on this one.
I’m just so stoked for this. As a co-op deckbuilder Witches has a similar feel to the style of the Legendary/Legendary Encounters games. You are each playing a coven of witches coming together to fight the powers that be during the war of independence. Which sounds absolutely nuts and I love it. I do like a deck builder and I like combative card games- especially where you are using spells and such to tackle events. Having studied the game so far it does look a little tongue-in-cheek without being dumbed down at all (which is refreshing) and there’s a couple of intruiging aspects. I’m especially interested in how the ‘moon tracker’ effects the pace of the game, and also how the decks are built. To quote the box material ‘a subtly different deck builder where decks are shaped and upgraded, rather than simply built, with consequences for pruning too aggressively’. Which sounds to be a little more thinky than your average buying up whatever you can afford, balls-to-the-wall deck builder. So yes, this is a game I’m very much looking forward to. It’s on pre order for July, and I’m hoping very much hoping that Atlas Games will be at GenCon. It, will be mine. Oh yes.
So that concludes this rather lengthy post, and to reiterate what I said on my Twitter a couple of weeks ago I just love love love having this hobby. There is always something to look forward to. Whether it’s playing a game I already own, planning a purchase, introducing someone new to an old favourite or being excited about a future release- it’s just a wonderful feeling to carry around with me, and I love sharing that with other people. Thanks for reading!