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.

Kickstarter Preview—King Down

Many people are already familiar with designer Saar Shai after his 2 amazing successful runs on Kickstarter with The Agents. Now he’s posted a new project for King Down, a sort of expanded Chess with interesting characters, spells, and more.

I’ve had a chance to play an early version of the game using the rules, the game’s cards, and my own chess set. The game is already pretty tight, quick, and highly entertaining. It’s both immediately familiar, yet fresh and new feeling at the same time. I can only imagine how the experience will be compounded by the addition of the pieces I’m seeing on the Kickstarter page.

King Down is already funded, and was so almost as soon as it was launched. A$65 pledge guarantees you a copy of the game, and from the looks of things that price is a good one for what you’re going to get.

I’m looking forward to playing a finished version of the game for a more official “Second Look”, but I can assure you this one, just like The Agents, is going to be a winner.


Imperial Stars II

Imperial Stars IIImperial Stars II ($27 boxed from Victory Point Games) is a two-player war game of clashing space empires. The game has exploration, resource management, and a 1 hour play-time, but also hexes, square unit counters, and combat results tables. A player’s goal is to conquer the opponent’s home world, or finish the last turn with the most planets and colonies.


RememoryNewly released by The Storymatic, Rememory is a story-telling game, where the stories are supposed to be memories. The $24 box includes three sets of cards: personal relationships, time frames, and inspiring prompts. Players draw one of each—for example, “you”, “spring”, and “the sound that still resonates”—and then tell a personal story.


I caught a tidbit about FRACTAL today, and figured it was interesting enough to share here.

From the website:

FRACTAL is a tabletop game which features fractoids: little robots, made of game pieces, that you can sketch, model, or 3D print. This site’s daily showtimes feature new content releases. The toy ticker provides learning tips.

It seems a bit confusing at first, but take a look at their Lore Book for a quick introduction and small game using the “system.”

Right now the full FRACTAL content is by invitation only…which is strange…as is the whole website.

Game Bandit - Scouring the net to find the cheapest discount boardgames and best free boardgame prizesTime to Play Magazine is giving away $1,000 in Toys “R” Us gift cards. One $500 grand prize and five $100 prizes.

Savage Worlds products are on-sale at DriveThruRPG.

I Slay the Dragon is giving away Kemble’s Cascade from Z-Man Games, plus maybe some other stuff, depending on how many people enter.

Erin Evans is giving away several copies of Fire in the Blood, a D&D Forgotten Realms novel of which she is the author.

Osprey Publishing’s September sale is a discount of 30% on all Men-at-Arms, Elite, and Warrior titles.

The submission deadline in A Sword for Hire’s Pathfinder monster design contest is September 13th, the prizes PDFs from Rite Publishing, Legendary Games, Raging Swan, and Dreamscarred Press.

Powered by Mom is giving away the Rollors outdoor game.

Country Mouse, City Mouse is giving away a package of eight Hasbro and Mattel games, along with Peanut Butter Cheerios.

The Immolation offer from High Flying Dice Games and Against the Odds Magazine includes seven games about the Panzerwaffe for $90 (28% off).

Playdek Playdek, the developer of several popular mobile tabletop games, is testing a new online organized play system that will work cross-platform and cross-game. The system, which I’m sure will eventually have a snazzy name, is planned for release within the next few months as an update within existing game apps.

While the new system will allow the profiles, avatars, chats, messages, and friend lists typical of online play spaces, its real focus will be on organizing tournaments—of various lengths—for Playdek’s competitive games such as Summoner Wars and Ascension. At the beginning, the organization of new tournaments will be automated. Eventually, though, users will be able to initiate tournaments in single-elimination, double-elimination, and other formats.

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Dead Men Tell No Tales, Minion Games’ 14th Kickstarter project, is a pirate-themed cooperative game in which players explore an on-fire, undead guarded, sinking ship. But why, you ask? Well, for treasure of course! The game has an interesting fatigue mechanic, and also allows players to share with others their unused actions.

Applying the 13th Age roleplaying system to the classic setting of Glorantha is the goal of 13th Age in Glorantha. With new classes, monsters, and icon relationships, designers Rob Heinsoo and Jonathan Tweet look to focus on what they call “myth-crawling”.

While not the first to crowdfund metal coins for games, Coins for Anything is offering an array of alternate designs at a reasonable price. The are Egyptian, Greek, dragon, fire, magic, Viking, Roman, and pirate sets.

From designer Philip duBarry and publisher Game Salute, Skyway Robbery is a steampunk-styled adventure game where the players are criminals traveling the world on an airship, each stop presenting a new opportunity for theft. After recruiting gangs and collecting the tools needed to grab loot, the winner is the player to have accumulated the most criminal renown.

Ignore the lumberjack pig art if you can, Hogger Logger is a game about trying to guess whether one’s face-down cards are higher or lower than the face-up one. Seems simple enough until you realize that other players can change the cards in play at any time simply by replacing them with cards from their hands or by playing action cards for more chaotic manipulations.

1750: Britain vs. France is a historically based card and dice game that includes political, diplomatic, and economic elements in addition to combat.

Play as a child’s toys fighting off nightmares in the card game, Nightlight. The game is cooperative, includes multiple scenarios, and features an interesting mix of cute and dark art.

Colors and Numbers

1553E80C-2961-11E4-92B6-F1E069500847Newly released by Lucky Games, Colors and Numbers is described as a cross between Carcassonne and Dominoes. Each side of the game cards have a color and a number. Different rulesets have you scoring points in different ways. Some mentioned are by number on the card and by placing pawns to claim territory.

The game looks more like a game system than anything else, and I’m sure you could just as easily find your own use for the cards.

Inside the box  you’ll find:

  • Deck of 72 different cards
  • Scoreboard
  • 25 cube pawns in 5 colors
  • 5 cylinder pawns in 5 colors
  • Rulebook with rules for 3 different games

Colors and Numbers is available now for $19.99 on The Game Crafter.

Gen Con 2014—Mayfair Games

Gen Con logoUnder the watchful eyes of Bob & Angus, in a demo area thronged by ribbon-seekers, Mayfair Games gave me the lowdown on a variety of recent and upcoming releases.

Beadpans & Broomsticks, which shipped in June ($35), puts most of the players in the role of old folks trying to escape a retirement home. One player, though, runs the nurses, who try to stop them. Each retiree player gets two tokens, one for the actual patient and one as a decoy.

Villainy (at retail for $50 later this month) is a supers game where the players are up-and-coming bad guys. Starting with petty crimes like putting a kitten in a tree, and working their way up to bigger, nastier plans, such as decaffeinating the world’s coffee, players build skills and recruit henchmen with the ultimate goal of defeating Fantastaman.

Johari is a push-your-luck, set-collection game about buying and selling gems. Counterfeit gems are part of the mix, though players try hard not to get caught selling them.

Catan Collector’s Edition Ancient Egypt (November, $70) builds on Settlers of Catan (obviously) but incorporates the Nile river running through the board. Resources in the game are cattle, papyrus, and stone. With them players collectively build the Great Pyramid. And ten god cards work similarly to the Helpers of Catan scenario, each providing a unique ability to the player who holds it.

Among the games Mayfair has planned for release in 2015 are Extra Extra and Flea Market. The former has players running competing newspapers. They build stories (with a card drafting mechanism), sell adds, and do layout. Somewhere in that mix there’s also supposed to be worker placement and a lot of player interaction. The latter is a quick, silly dice game that has players collecting artifacts, sometimes from the center market and sometimes taking them away from other players.

Participating in Mayfair’s booth was Lookout Games, with whom Mayfair has a distribution arrangement in the United States. Lookout’s Gold Ahoy is a two-player tile-laying game, where the winner is the player with the most gems in a network of connected tunnels. Patchwork is a game about quilting that uses pentomino or Tetris-like pieces with 9×9 player boards. Players try to fill their boards by collecting pieces. Each piece, though, has a time value and a button value. Buttons are victory points but quilting time is limited.

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Red Dragon Inn Two New Allies expansions.

BB09-color_final_2SlugFest Games has just announced two new expansions for Red Dragon Inn that will be available in stores in a few weeks.

Ozrik the Adept:

“The Red Dragon Inn: Allies – Ozrik the Adept expands the party at the Red Dragon Inn with a brand new elementalist who is a master of manipulating his abilities. Many of Ozrik’s cards have more powerful effects if you discard other cards from your hand. Carefully managing your hand to build these powerful combos will be the key to victory in any tavern brawl!”

Brother Bastian:

“The Red Dragon Inn: Allies – Brother Bastian expands the party at the Red Dragon Inn with a brand new character! Bastian brings powerful prayer cards with him, giving him great flexibility. Making sacrifices throughout the game so you can use your prayers at the perfect moment will lead you to victory!”

Each new Ally contains:

  • 40 Card Character Deck
  • 1 Player Mat
  • 12 Gold Coin Tokens
  • 1 Alcohol Marker
  • 1 Fortitude Marker

The Brother Bastian pack also includes 12 Prayer Tokens.

Each expansion will be $15.

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