Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Obligatory 2016 Kickstarter Post Part II: Top 10 List (Games 6-10)

Alright, one honorable mention post down and now we move on to the bottom half of my top 10 anticipated Kickstarter boardgame projects.  These five games are all incredible looking and honestly any of them could be in my top 5 and it would completely make sense.  This has been quite a good year for Kickstarter games as there are so many good ones.  I hear/see people complaining about Kickstarter but I still don’t think people take it for what it is…a system where we (as backers) are helping to fund a project that most of the time wouldn’t be able to happen otherwise.  This means that there is often a long wait till we get our games but I feel that most of the time it’s worth it.  I still have never been burned by a Kickstarter project.  Nothing I’ve backed has taken longer than 6 months to deliver which is pretty good in the grand scheme of things.  Feel free to check out my BoardGameGeek GeekList at this link and check out what I’ve backed so far.  If you haven’t had a chance, feel free to read my honorable mentions list at the link given below.

Now let’s move on to games 6-10 on my top 10 anticipated Kickstarter games.  I am really looking forward to these games so this should be fun!

Near & Far is a worker placement, storytelling, route building game designed by Ryan Laukat and will be released by his company, Red Raven Games.  This game was funded by 7,245 backers and made $520,177 during its run on Kickstarter this year.  As of this point the game is expected to come out in late spring of 2017 and looks to be really cool.  This game continues Laukat’s love of his world which also includes the games City of Iron, Above & Below, and Islebound.  My wife and I really enjoy Above & Below and I am really looking forward to this one.  This one finds players taking on the role of an adventurer who is looking for the Last Ruin which supposedly holds an artifact that grants the desires of the user’s heart.  They will go along different maps and gain different treasures, collect food, gain the help of other adventurers, and obtain weapons to fend off the dangers of the world.  This theme is all wrapped around an interesting looking route building game that looks like a lot of fun.  To really pump up the theme we get the beautiful artwork of Ryan Laukat who is one of my current favorite boardgame artists in the business!  The price held me back at the time but we will definitely pick it up at some point when it hits retail.

Feudum is an economic, hand management game with some area control mechanisms designed by Mark K. Swanson and released by Odd Bird Games.  This game is still currently on Kickstarter and has over 1,800 backers and has made over $150,000 and still has 18 days left.  The game is slated to release at some point next year around October but we all know how these things work!  Regardless of when it comes out the game looks quite amazing.  The art is honestly what first drew me in and then I started to look at the mechanisms that the game is formed around.  The hand management and resource management that are involved in game look really interesting and well formed into the theme.  I love how so many different Euro-style games are really attempting to weave their mechanisms into the theme of the game.  This game finds players stripped of everything and thus making a journey in a new land to reinvent themselves and gain honor.  I love the look of this game and I will definitely take a closer look when it comes out.

Chronicles 1: Origins is a new civilization game with storytelling and Legacy elements designed by Dirk Knemeyer and Rob Daviau and released by Artana.  This game will feature a new system called the Echo System which will create “ripples” throughout each subsequent game played.  The players start as a leader in a tribe during the Stone Age.  They will help make decisions and collaborate with their fellow players in order to build their tribe into a position of stability.  The next game played will find the players taking on the roles of each tribe that they have created in the previous games and attempting to make their tribe into a powerful city-state.  The world will evolve and wrap around these games to create a different experience for each game group.  I love the idea of this game and with Daviau and Knemeyer attached to it this game has the opportunity to be amazing.  The only reason it has slipped this low on the list is because it was supposed to have its Kickstarter debut already and has been seriously delayed because they don’t think it’s quite right.  This does make me have some hesitations but knowing the pedigree of these two I know that the game will be amazing if/when it comes out!

Lisboa is an economic, hand-management, tile-placement and area control game designed by Vital Lacerda and will be released by Eagle-Gryphon Games.  This game is still on Kickstarter and currently has over 2,100 backers and has made over $215,000 and that is all with about 17 days left at the time of this post.  This game continues in Lacerda’s tradition of medium-to-heavy weight Euro-games with simple one stage movements that create heavy and complex combos that are amazing.  My wife and I have The Gallerist and it is an absolutely amazingly designed game with so many different things to think about.  Lacerda’s previous games have all been “brain-burners” and this game appears to be no different in that regard.  Eagle-Gryphon have paired up with Vital once again and Ian O’Toole is on board at the artist and graphic designer.  They have once again created a game that looks amazing and the gameplay appears to be just as good as his previous works.  I haven’t backed this one due to a lack of funds before the holidays but when it comes out in retail it will definitely be on my list to pick up.

Founders of Gloomhaven is a city-building game with tile-laying, worker-placement and auctioning that is designed by Isaac Childres and will be released by Cephalofair Games.  This game is slated to start it’s Kickstarter campaign in February if everything goes well.  Isaac has stated that he wants Gloomhaven, his game currently being produced, done and shipped before he starts the new campaign.  This game will take place in the same, rich world that he’s created for Gloomhaven but hundreds of years prior to the events.  In it each player will take controls of a fantastical race who is banding together with other races in order to build the city of Gloomhaven.  They are using their workers to place specific resources that they control on different hexes.  Since they only import a specific type of resource, they will need the help of the other players in order to complete their project.  I love the idea of working together to build this city but with the specific goal of gaining the best reputation and influence to win the game.  I can’t wait to see how this one works!

Well, there you have it, my games 6-10 of my anticipated Kickstarter list.  Come on back soon and I’ll have up my top 5 games in the list.  So what games are you looking forward to or have you already have backed…I’d love to know!  Thanks so much for reading and we’ll catch ya next time.  Until next time, game on!

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Obligatory 2016 Kickstarter Post Part I: Honorable Mentions

Alright, on to my next series! We’re going to move on to my 2016 Kickstarter list. This post will be the first in this three part series where I’ll feature the Kickstarter boardgame projects that I am currently anticipating. These are all games that haven’t been shipped out to the backers, at least not at the time of writing this post. This means they may still be going on, or maybe they haven’t started yet, or maybe they just ended, or maybe they ended two years ago and still haven’t shipped! Regardless, they are all campaigns that I’m very excited about and some of them I’ve even backed already! This first post in the series will look at 5 honorable mentions (and some others that just missed the list to look out for!) and the next two will look at games 6-10 on the list and then games 1-5 on the list. Well, enough housekeeping, let’s move on to the list!

The first honorable mention that makes it onto my list is Mines of Ōlnäk. This game is designed by Jonathan Frenay and Raphaël Helaers and will be distributed by Morning Players after the completed Kickstarter. This is a worker placement, economic game with some area control added in and it looks very interesting. The game finds players taking on a clan of dwarves who are coming together in order to dig up and rebuild their lost city under the mountain. Players will place their workers in places to exploit the city’s resources, participating in projects, sell resources and claim political rights. The thing that really caught my eye is the absolute beauty of this game. It seriously looks beautiful from all of the pictures that I’ve seen coming out of different conventions as they are demoing the game before the campaign begins. I hope this game plays even half as good as it looks because that means it will be a winner!

The next game to hit my honorable mention list is Massive Darkness. This game is designed by Raphaël Guiton, Jean-Baptiste Lullien, and Nicolas Raoult and is being distributed and published by Cool Mini Or Not (CMON) and will be coming out in 2017 after a highly successful Kickstarter run. This game is a co-operative dungeon crawler in a fantasy world that takes the Zombicide system and gives it a new twist. In this game you’ll take your fantasy hero and go through these dungeons in a similar style of Zombicide but you will be able to level up your characters throughout a campaign style of quest. These monsters will be spawning in the dungeon and have the opportunity to drop really cool weapons that they are also able to use themselves to power up their stats. I also really like that they have a darkness element where if you are in a dark spot then you can sneak attack the monsters and get more dice to roll in order to take them out. I think this is going to take a fun game in Zombicide and make it more entertaining with the added elements.

The third game to make in on to my honorable mention list is Vengeance. This game is designed by Gordon Calleja and will be distributed by Mighty Boards after their successful Kickstarter run. This game came out of nowhere for me. I had never heard of it and it wasn’t on my radar at all until I saw the Rahdo video during the campaign. This game plays out just like a vengeance movie along the lines of Kill Bill or Django Unchained. It is a heavy dice rolling game where the players will take their hero and go up against different clans and leaders who have caused them harm in some way. It is interesting where there are distinct different turns where you play out a montage and then the fight scenes. In the montage the players will heal, gain items and abilities, and generally upgrade their hero for the fight that will come next. During the fight scenes the hero will go against a specific clan/leader during their turn in order to exact their bloody revenge for the ills cause upon them. The players then score points after they take out these clans. I absolutely love the theme and think this game may be a winner; however, the price tag was very high so we’ll see if it comes down in the future. If this happens there is a good chance I’ll pick it up!

The next game to hit the list and just miss my most anticipated honorable mention is Tiny Epic Quest. This game is designed by Scott Almes and will be distributed by Gamelyn Games next year. The Kickstarter is still current but will be ending very soon. I haven’t actually backed this one yet but even if I don’t back it I will end up buying it in retail. This game has the players taking on the roll of adventurers questing in order to rid the land of a group of goblins who are flooding out of a portal and ravaging the land. There is a heavy push-your-luck element to the game as you are placing the adventurers in specific quests and then rolling dice during a night phase to see what happens. I love the modular board setup and the bright colors along with the interesting game mechanisms. Gamelyn Games always does a great job with their Kickstarter campaigns and this doesn’t seem to be any different. I look forward to this one and hope to have it in my collection by this time next year.

This final game to hit my honorable mention list and just miss my top 10 anticipated Kickstarters is The 7th Continent. This game is designed by Ludovic Roudy and Bruno Sautter and will be distributed by Serious Poulp. This game was a huge hit during its campaign on Kickstarter and thus hit all of the stretch goals they added for it. It is a co-operative, exploration and adventure game with tile-laying elements. The game looks very cool and the tiles/cards that you lay down have some very good art. You will travel around and craft tools and weapons in order to survive in any way that you’re able to. This game takes quite a long time to finish and because of this they created a clever save feature so that you can stop the game and come back at a later time in order to play again. I think the game looks very cool and I would really like to see it in action.

Other Kickstarters of note:
- Aeon’s End (Action Phase Games/Indie Boards & Cards)
- Anachrony (Mindclash Games)
- Apocrypha Adventure Card Game (Lone Shark Games)
- Campaign Trail (Cosmic Wombat Games)
- Card Fusion Chaos (Level 99 Games)
- Dragon Keepers (Knight Works, LLC)

- Fate of the Elder Gods (Greater Than Games/Fabled Nexus)
- Fire of Eidolon (Magic Meeple Games)
- Foe Hunters (Spellforge Games)
- Haven (Red Raven Games)
- Heroes of Land, Air & Sea (Gamelyn Games)
- Key to the City: London (R&D Games/Game Salute)

- Keyper (R&D Games)
- Millennium Blades: Set Rotation (Level 99 Games)
- Peak Oil (2Tomatoes)
- Quests of Valeria (Daily Magic Games)
- Sagrada (Floodgate Games)
- Sentinels of the Multiverse: OblivAeon (Greater Than Games/Sentinel Comics)

- Shadows of Brimstone: Forbidden Fortress (Flying Frog Productions)
- Shadowscape (NSKN Games)
- Too Many Bones (Chip Theory Games)
- Tramways (AV Studio Games)
- Valeria: Card Kingdoms: Flames & Frost (Daily Magic Games)
- Villages of Valeria (Daily Magic Games)

Wow…so many games coming out from Kickstarter that actually look interesting! Because of the change in the environment of crowd funding, so many different publishers are trying out Kickstarter which means more games are getting out there. This also means there are some real stinkers out there but it also makes the ones that are good much more viable than in previous years! I’m okay with the way Kickstarter is working for games right now since I do a ton of research before I back anything. I know all about the game, designer(s), and publisher before I ever hit the back button. These are just my honorable mentions (as well as some others that look interesting) so make sure you come back soon as I’ll be starting my top 10 with games 6-10. Thanks so much for reading and we’ll catch ya next post! Until next time, game on!

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Obligatory “What I Played In…” Post Part XVI: October 2016

Alright…If you didn’t catch it I just finished up my Essen Spiel 2016 series and will be starting a new series soon, either my top 10 2016 edition or a Kickstarter series.  Before all of that we’ll take a look at my game plays for October 2016.  This was a much lighter month as my wife and I just moved along with our 4-year-old to Indiana so we’ve had our hands full and not able to game as much as we’d like.  That being said, we still got in 38 plays and were able to try out a few new ones.  Okay, let’s move on to October’s plays.

Total plays in October 2016 – 38
Total unique games played in October 2016 – 20
New games played in October 2016 – 6
New games acquired in October 2016 – 1
New expansion acquired in October 2016 – 0
Most plays of a single game in October 2016 – 8

Designer – Stone Librande/Chris Cantrell/Rick Ernst/Prashant Saraswat/Nathan Tiras
Publisher – Riot Games
New to me
First play – 10/20/16
Total plays in October 2016 – 8

This game was my only new acquisition this past month and man is it awesome!  We’ve played quite a bit of it in October and at both two and three player counts.  This game is just a fun ride!  I feel like they just figured out how to distill fun and turn it into a game.  For those who don’t know, this game was put together by Riot Games who puts out one of the most popular video games in the world, League of Legends.  This game puts you in the shoes of one of the Yordels (a smallish race of Gnome-like creatures) who are learning to control mechs in order to defeat the minions.  I love the co-operative programming of this game as you’re trying to defeat hordes of minions coming at you all at once.  I love that the hype was totally deserved!

Designer – Alan R. Moon
Publisher – Days of Wonder
Last play before October 2016 – 9/26/16
Total plays in October 2016 – 4

Woot!  We got in a few games of this gateway wonder and they were awesome!  I think this game is going to hit my top 10 when we finally get around to doing them.  It has just enough choices and player interaction (especially at higher player counts) to make for a fun game with anyone.  This month we also got to teach some new players the game and everyone enjoyed it.  This month’s maps include Nederland, Pennsylvania, United States, and United Kingdom.

Designer – David Harding
Publisher – Grail Games
New to me
First play – 10/1/16
Total plays in October 2016 – 3

This game is one we picked up at the end of September and played this past month.  We got it for very cheap and it was definitely worth it.  It is a fun, simple hand-management game with bluffing and set-collection mechanisms built in.  The artwork is beautiful and the little wooden tokens that are included are great!  This is a fun two-player only game and I’d highly recommend it for any gaming couple out there.

Designer – Rob Daviau
Publisher – Plaid Hat Games
New to me
First play – 10/24/16
Total plays in October 2016 – 3

Now for the big boy of the month!  A buddy, Josh, picked up Seafall and he, myself, and Em have started going through it.  I know it has a good rating on BoardGameGeek but I’ve heard a lot of lash-back and honestly don’t understand it.  We have been having a great time with the game so far.  We’ve noticed it to be very balanced with the three of us as we are three games in and within three total points of each other’s scores.  In the last game we actually had a three-way tie which was broken by the title held by Josh.  We’re loving the experience so far and are looking forward to our next session!

Designer – Uwe Rosenberg
Publisher – AMIGO Spiele
Last play before October 2016 – 9/26/16
Total plays in October 2016 – 3

Of course we got in a few more plays of this wonderful little filler in October.  We carry this with us pretty much everywhere as it is portable, fun, and takes up very little table space.  This is one of our favorite fillers and we always look forward to some quick plays of the game.

Designer – Antoine Bauza/Bruno Cathala
Publisher – Repos Production/Asmodee
Last play before October 2016 – 8/22/16
Total plays in October 2016 – 2

Em and I got in two quick plays of this incredible two-player card game and as usual loved every minute of it!  This has become one of our favorite games to pull out when we have little time and it is an amazing game.  I am so pumped to eventually get the Pantheon expansion to make this game even more replayable and entertaining!

Designer – Chuck Yager/Matt Leacock
Publisher – Z-Man Games
Last play before October 2016 – 8/31/16
Total plays in October 2016 – 2

We pulled this game out and played it with Molly and Dustin and it was awesome!  Oh, and we totally got our butts handed to us in both games.  We taught the two of them the game and it was a blast even though we got totally crushed and Cthulhu rose to plunge the world into madness.

Designer – Isaac Vega
Publisher – Plaid Hat Games
Last play before October 2016 – 9/23/16
Total plays in October 2016 – 1

Em and I pulled out the new Victoria and Leo decks and went head to head in this incredible battle card game.  I was able to pull out the win which gives me a little bit of a winning streak in it.  We absolutely adore this game and I can’t wait to get more and more decks as they are always amazing!

Designer – Mike Fitzgerald
Publisher – Eagle-Gryphon Games
Last play before October 2016 – 8/5/16
Total plays in October 2016 – 1

We broke out this beautiful two-player card game this past month and as always had a great time with it.  Em was able to build a really nice free agent pool with her deck and had it rolling.  I just didn’t have enough gloves and she was able to take me out four games to one.

Designer – Ben Rosset
Publisher – Dice Hate Me/Greater Than Games
Last play before October 2016 – 9/10/15
Total plays in October 2016 – 1

Wow, apparently it has been a year since we broke out this great worker placement game!  My buddy Josh wanted to try it out so I brought it over and we played.  Josh picked it up very quickly and did very well as he brewed up some good beers.  I was able to win, but didn’t do nearly as well as I have in the past as I was just trying to do too much.  I love this game and want to break it out more!

Designer – Richard Launius/Kevin Wilson
Publisher – Fantasy Flight Games
Last play before October 2016 – 10/18/15
Total plays in October 2016 – 1

Before we moved to Indiana, Meghan and her fiancé, Eric, were able to come over the bridge and meet up with us.  We broke out Elder Sign and faced off against the elder gods.  We were rolling really well and able to win the game although the doom track was getting really close to the end.  It was a very fun game…I love when the game really fights back!

Designer – Przemysław Świerczyński
Publisher – Board&Dice/Greater Than Games
New to me
First play – 10/5/16
Total plays in October 2016 – 1

We got in our first play of this new resource management and tile-laying game this past month.  We really enjoyed the experience!  This game looks great on the table and is even more fun to play.  We enjoyed the play immensely and can’t wait to play again!

Designer – Uwe Rosenberg
Publisher – Z-Man Games
Last play before October 2016 – 8/7/16
Total plays in October 2016 – 1

This past month we broke out this fantastic Rosenberg two-player, worker-placement game.  This game is always amazing and I really wish I could get more plays of it in.  This is a game that may possibly make it onto my top 10 list eventually!

Designer – Matt Hyra
Publisher – Cryptozoic Entertainment
New to me
First play – 10/27/16
Total plays in October 2016 – 1

Josh pulled this game out one night after we were done with a long gaming session as a quick filler before I head home for the night.  This game was quite fun.  I don’t tend to love real-time competitive games but this game is so quick that it doesn’t overstay its welcome.  I don’t feel the need to own this one but it is a fun distraction.

Designer – Nikki Valens
Publisher – Fantasy Flight Games
Last play before October 2016 – 9/16/16
Total plays in October 2016 – 1

This game was the final game we played with our game group before we moved to Indiana.  We played the first scenario to teach everyone the game.  We had five people and faced off against the dangers and ended up with three of us winning the game and two of us going insane and not completing the goals!  I love this game and can’t wait to play again!

Designer – Tim Fowers
Publisher – (Self-Published)
Last play before October 2016 – 12/13/15
Total plays in October 2016 – 1

It has been a while since I’d played this wonderful deck-building word game.  Josh, Steven and I pulled this game out after a game of Eldritch Horror.  This game is a fantastic deck-builder where you are building words and improving your deck.  I went for a speed game while Josh took the big word, big point long game route.  We ended up completely tied for first place which was hilarious.  Always a great game and I need to get it to the table more often.

Designer – Uwe Rosenberg
Publisher – Lookout Games/Mayfair Games
Last play before October 2016 – 9/22/16
Total plays in October 2016 – 1

I feel like I mention it every month…but what more is there to say about this game?  It is one of our favorite two-player games and we have played it at least once a month since obtaining it a little over a year ago.  We love it and probably always will!

Designer – Scott Frisco/Steven Strumpf
Publisher – HABA
Last play before October 2016 – 8/28/16
Total plays in October 2016 – 1

We pulled this out this past month once with my mom and dad.  This is one of my favorite dexterity games.  I love how simple it is to teach/play and the artwork and presentation of it is just fantastic.  I haven’t played a ton of HABA games but there are a bunch I want to try!

Designer – Michael Shinall
Publisher – Cool Mini Or Not
New to me
First play – 10/16/16
Total plays in October 2016 – 1

I have been playing a bunch of games with my buddy Josh since we moved back to the area and this is one that he taught me.  It is a MOBA style game where you are attempting to kill the other player’s heroes while attempting to gain objectives.  It is a fun game but maybe a little too luck driven for my personal tastes.  That being said I’d play it if asked!

Designer – Phil Walker-Harding
Publisher – Gamewright
Last play before October 2016 – 9/5/16
Total plays in October 2016 – 1

Em and I pulled this game out during one of our breakfast dates and it is always a very fun game.  I love the simplicity of this drafting game.  If we are teaching people about card drafting then this is the game we’ll go to while if we want something a touch heavier we’ll pull out 7 Wonders.

New game acquisitions in October 2016:

Well ladies and gents…that just about does it for another installment of my monthly game plays.  Thanks so much for taking the time to read and let me know what you’ve played lately that I should try out!  Until next time, game on!