Modern board games are games created after 1900 or so, including early games such as Monopoly and Scrabble, to the latest games from Europe and around the world.

Crowdfunding Highlights

The Siblings Trouble
Of note this week, The Siblings Trouble calls back to the halcyon days of summer vacation adventures. This card-driven storytelling game is part Goonies, part Hardy Boys, and part Studio Ghilbi. You and family and friends have a grand adventure featuring trolls, the Rat King, and Big Secrets before rushing back home in time for dinner. This game looks insanely cute and fun and I have a feeling I’ll be backing it before it’s over.

I’ve already backed Cucu Dice, a set of a dozen (as of this moment) 16mm dice that are designed to work well with Fantasy Flight Games’ various Lovecraft-themed games. With one red face, two green, and three blue, these dice are designed to easily read successes in these types of games where a six-sided die is used for binary success/fail resolution. A full dozen dice is about $13 shipped to the US. (Honestly, I’ll be using them for my Shadowrun game.)

The Titans SeriesCalliope Games’ Titan Series is a subscription-based casual game series featuring well-established game designers such as Richard Garfield, Mike Selinker, Rob Daviau, James Ernest, and eight other prominent game designers. With a minimum of nine gateway games (plus three more as stretch goals), backers can subscribe to the entire series or pick and choose the games they want to pick up. Games will run from 2-8 players (various player counts on different games) and have a play time of 60 minutes or less. This campaign continues for another month and a half and is nearly funded as of this writing.

Playroom Entertainment’s Sitting Ducks Gallery Deluxe funded within a day of launch. The game is an update to the award-winning (Games 100, Golden Geek, and more) 2005 version. The theme echoes shooting duck galleries on a carnival midway, with players taking out their opponent’s ducks with humorous action cards and trying to be the last duck in the pond. It looks to be goofy fun.

car wars card game It’s a Car Wars Kickstarter, but not the all new version of Car Wars Kickstarter I’ve been waiting for. If you already have Steve Jackson Games’ recent Car Wars Classic (or your set from the ‘80s), you’ll want to pick up Car Wars Arenas, collecting five different arenas from early in the product line now published for the first time at Classic scale. But what excites me about this campaign is they just announced an updated version of Car Wars: The Card Game to be released this summer. Pledging at the $65 Pro Duellist level will get you CW Arenas, CW Classic, and the card game. The updated 150-card game will retail for about $25.

Second Look - Boardgame reviews in depth. Check out that cat.I’ve previously reviewed some BCW products, and found them to really hold up well for a good value. They just recently sent me a box of new stuff they’re offering, so I was excited to put the items to the test. I won’t go into much detail about the new card protectors. They’ve got new colors for their Deck Guard line: pink, yellow, orange and teal sleeves. Purple will be coming soon. They’ve also added a line of clear sleeves in different sizes for board games. All excellent quality, especially for the cost.

Inner Sleeves: These clear sleeves are meant to go over your cards, then into a regular Deck Guard. The combination of the two sleeves makes cards practically waterproof. I spilled some water over one to see, and it kept the water out nicely. The combo even kept water out for quite a bit of time with a fully submerged card, but eventually water got in and the card was pretty much destroyed. Really, though, you’re probably more worried about spills than taking a dip in the pool with your cards.

Playmats: Playmats are always something I figured I really didn’t need. They seemed like more of a vanity item than anything else. I’m happy to say I was wrong. I received two mats from BCW, a black one and a red one. Both are 24″ x 13″ and have stitched edging to protect them from fraying.  It’s really nice to play on a clean, soft surface instead of just a table top. The best part? They’re machine washable so if you do get anything on them you can clean ’em up. I can’t see myself playing a card game without using the mats now. It’s really nice to have a clean surface just for your cards.

Pro-Folio 8 Pocket LX: This item is pretty much identical to the other Folio products I’ve looked at previously, but it holds the cards in a portrait layout, and can hold 8 cards per page. Sturdy and snug.

18 Pocket Colored Pages: For those of you who prefer to use your own binder, these pages offer the same great protection as the all-in-one card folios, but allow you to store them yourself. There’s a bunch of different colors that hold 9 cards per side. Each pack comes with 10 pages. I’ve now got more card storage than I’ll ever know what to do with!

Deck Locker:  Last, but certainly not least, is my favorite new product from BCW. The Deck Locker is a step up from the Deck Case – LX. It contains two compartments, each with a magnetic latch. The bottom compartment is to hold your deck. It’ll hold sleeved cards, or even a Deck Case. The top compartment has a little removable tray where you can store dice, counters, or whatever else you can cram in there. It’s a bit bulkier than a Deck Case or a Deck Case – LX, but it’s a great unit to store everything you need for your deck and what goes along with it.

You can find all of these products, along with everything else in BCW’s Gaming line here. Once again BCW has put out some really competitive products for a much better price tag than Ultra Pro stuff.

Items were sent free for review by BCW.

Game Bandit - Scouring the net to find the cheapest discount boardgames and best free boardgame prizesTo celebrate the fifth season of Game of Thrones, Green Ronin has put the A Song of Ice and Fire core rulebook, Campaign Guide, and Night’s Watch supplement on-sale for 10% off. The Campaign Starter is 35% off.

Dungeons & Dragons video games are on sale at for up to 80% off.

Some 150 rare, out-of-print Ral Partha miniatures are being auctioned off on eBay by The Collector’s Trove.

A wood Mancala game board from Nigeria will be auctioned at Bonhams in San Francisco May 5th with an estimated price of $3,000-5,000.

The Game Publishers Guild, a new coalition of RPG companies, is offering a bundle of five PDF rulebooks for 25% off.

LDS Board Games is giving away The Armor of God from Cedar Fort Publishing.

Onyx Path is currently selling the three games of the Trinity Universe—Adventure, Aberrant, and Trinity—for $5 per ebook.

The 13th Age RPG Starter Kit is a bundle of 13th Age products for 25% off.

My Boys & Their Toys is giving away The Reading Game.

Mummy and the Cuties (UK) is giving away Hotel Tycoon from Esdevium Games.

Also for UK residents, Madhouse Family Reviews is giving away three board games from Drumond Park: Wordsearch Junior, Logo What am I?, and Rapidough.

Women and Their Pretties is giving away Morphology.

tabletopday_logoThat’s right! Today is International Tabletop Day!

Here’s hoping all of you are getting a ton of gaming in today. We’ve already gotten a few games of Poop: The Game in, and have Smash Up, Qwirkle, Ticket To Ride, and more lined up to play!

What are you playing today? Are you attending an event, holding an event, or just playing at home?

Need some game suggestions? Lory’s recent post Five Great Family-Friendly Games to play on Easter Sunday is a good place to start, or just take a look through our Second Look archives!

If you need to buy a game last minute, local Target and Barnes & Nobles stores usually have some great games. If you’ve got a local brick-and-mortar game store then all the better!

But Wait Theres MoreIf you’ve ever stayed up past midnight watching broadcast television, then you’ve seen those infomercials hocking all manner of merchandise. The iconic line, “But wait. There’s more” is easily identifiable to practically every human being with a television set.

ToyVault recently launched a new party game that has players acting out the pitchman role, trying to sell wares to the rest of your friends. The game is compatible with two to 10 players (although two players would be pretty boring).

Each player gets 30 seconds to perform an infomercial for a product. The pitchman chooses the product, but the features are drawn randomly from the deck, so you may find yourself selling a pair of pants that cooks eggs perfectly every time.

After everyone has had a chance to be a pitchman, players secretly vote on their favorite pitch.

The game comes with 50 Product Cards, 150 Feature Cards, A Tell Us More card, 60 Vote Cards, and five Company cards.

There is also an add-on expansion deck with 40 additional cards called “That’s the best part.” This expansion adds one additional segment to your infomercial in the form of a randomly drawn question, like “What if Grandma can’t lift it?” Your response is, “That’s the best part…,” with a follow up response.

If you have a larger group than you expected, you can add the 6th Player expansion, which extends the number of players to 6 for individuals and 12 for team players.

But Wait, There’s More is available at your local board game shop for $24.99. The That’s The Best Part expansion is available for $4.99. The 6th Player expansion costs $3.99.


Ares games has two new games coming this year, one being its first card game.

Jolly Roger – The game of Piracy & Mutiny is a card game for 4 – 10 players. It’s fast, quick to learn, and apparently can get pretty rowdy. The players are pirates in search of booty. One player is the captain and makes decisions for the best of the ship, but other players can mutiny if they disagree with those decisions. It’s a cooperative game where sometimes cooperation isn’t in the cards. (see what I did there?) Jolly Roger launches a new line of card games for Ares.

Odyssey – Wrath of Poseidon is a Euro-styled deduction game for 2 – 5 players. One player plays Poseidon, and the others are navigators in search of a Sacred island. It’s Poseidon’s job to make it so the navigators never find the island, while the players desperately fight against what the sea god throws at them in order to find their prize.

Both games are due for release at Gen Con 2015.

The Great GameOn the 6th of June there will be a charity fundraising event for War Child in Putney, London. It’s called The Great Game,  a board gaming, model painting & game design event for War Child, because every child deserves a loving, peaceful future.

Right now they need some help. They’re looking for volunteers, guests, and donations to help them run a successful event. If you’re in the area, and are willing to lend a hand, shoot them an email at

Evolution Flight Box Left3DNorth Star Games today launches a Kickstarter project for an expansion to Evolution. The original is a title that I wrote about nearly a year ago and continue to feel is a fun, moderate-weight strategy game that presents challenging yet approachable decisions even for a beginner. However, having since had an opportunity to play it a few additional times—including with the practiced crew at North Star—I’ve also come to realize that there’s a fair amount of depth and complexity to the game, particularly in the way the trait cards balance and interact. An experienced Evolution player is going to have a significant advantage over a newbie.

Now the expansion, Flight, adds to that depth, providing fans with more options, more strategies, and more interactions to explore—though again, not in a way that precludes the casual player from understanding how it works. In fact, it’s quite simple. Instead of creating the usual new species (at the cost of one card), the expansion allows players to create a new species (at a cost of two cards) with flight as a starting trait. Flight is a defense against carnivores that don’t also have flight, allows a species to feed from a second location (the cliff), and provides certain bonuses when combined with other new traits such as nesting and brood parasite.

Another important aspect of flying species, though, is that they require additional food to survive—one more per body size (a lot of energy is required to power those wings). Of course, one can look at that as a challenge to maintaining flying species (the additional food doesn’t score) but it can also be an advantage. Carnivorous flying species are ravenous! A species without a defensive trait against meat-eating avians has a good chance of being eliminated.

The Evolution Flight expansion will come with 12 avian species boards (for tracking population, body size, and food), 12 special flight trait cards, 48 additional trait cards, and a cliff feeding board.

Evolution Second EditionAdditionally, as North Star is launching this expansion Kickstarter project, the company is also producing a second edition for the base game, making changes in two areas: art and card text. Both, though, are matters of refinement. In terms of the art, some card images have been improved, the watering hole graphics have been modified to better allow food tokens to stand out, and the box cover has been made more colorful. In terms of trait card text, the changes are slight but meant to improve balance and make for more interesting combinations. For example, the body size bonus of hard shell is being increased to +4 as an offset to the late game power of pack hunting, and foraging will now trigger any time a species eats plant food, for better synergy with several other traits.

For concerned owners of the first edition, all Kickstarted copies of the Flight expansion will ship to backers with a full set of second edition trait cards.

A complimentary copy of Evolution (second edition), as well as prototype Flight components, were provided for review by North Star Games.


Battleground Domination, the first release of expansions for Mage Wars Arena, is now available for pre-order on Arcane Wonders official site.

With the introduction of custom puzzle-cut tiles, players can construct their very own arena layout designs and make use of the special terrain effects on the tiles to their advantage. A brand new game mode named ‘Domination’ also allows players to win in an alternative way by gaining control of the valuable power resource V’Tar orbs. Additionally, 1 copy each of Ankh of Asyra and Blur promo cards will be given as a special bonus in the first printing of the expansion.

Players can choose from two delivery options in the current pre-order: 1) pick-up at Origins 2015, which will be held June 3rd – 7th, or 2) direct shipment upon its expected full release in July 2015. The game plays 2 – 4 players in 90 minutes, pre-order price $44.99.

Quarriors!Quarriors! is a fun and fast-paced dice-building game that’s the basis for WizKids’ collectible Dice Masters series. It’s like an interactive card-based deck-building game but with custom dice and no shuffling. Fantasy-themed Quarriors! has players rolling dice to cast spells and summon monsters in a high-powered wizard battle. One of the things I like about it, though, is its offbeat sense of humor. There are some strange monsters in the mix.

An iOS version of Quarriors! is free through Friday. And with the support of WizKids, here on Purple Pawn we’re going to give away two copies of the original, for those like me who enjoy rolling real dice!

All you have to do to enter the giveaway is leave a comment on this article. Tell us which version of Quarriors!, Dice Masters, or other WizKids game is your favorite (or most looking forward to) for an extra entry. The deadline for entry is noon Eastern Time on Tuesday April 14th, after which I’ll roll some physical dice to randomly select two winners.

Please watch for an email on that day. There will be a time limit to responding before I select other winners. Also, the games will be shipped directly by WizKids only to destinations in the United States.

Entries and comments are now closed. Winners will be notified later today.

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