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.

Firefly Shiny DiceUpper Deck’s long-awaited press-your-luck style dice game, Firefly: Shiny Dice, is heading to a game shop near you later this summer, set to be released this August. In the meantime, Gen Con attendees will have the opportunity to get a hands-on demo the finalized game at Upper Deck’s booth. Plus, at the convention’s dice tournament, you can play the game with other fans and enter a tournament where the winning prize is a copy of the complete game.

This fast-paced dice game is played in three rounds. In each round, players hire a crew, add passengers, and pick up supplies by rolling dice. They also roll for complications in the missions that involve meeting up with a few nefarious characters.

Players earn victory points by completing missions. They also earn them from collecting supply tokens. Victory points are worth one point each and supply tokens are worth one point for two.

The game’s dice are split into three categories. There are seven Crew dice, including Mal, Zoe, Wash, Jayne, and Kaylee (plus supplies). There are three Passenger dice, which represent Simon and River, Inara, and Book (plus supplies).There are also five Foe dice, which represent Badger, Niska, and Saffron.

There are also 38 mission cards (with images and quotes from the show), which detail the task each player must complete. To keep your opponents from seeing your progress, there are five player screens, which have the game’s information on back to help remind you of how to play. There are also two rubber playmates to help you keep track of what your dice’s status is.

Keep a look out for Firefly: Shiny Dice late this summer or early fall at your local game shop.

Crowdfunding Highlights

JurassAttackNow that the world of cloned dinosaurs is back in our minds, it is no surprise that a game about the extinct giants is getting some board game love. In JurassAttack!, players compete against each other in a simultaneous turn-based card game. Select a dinosaur or pack of dinosaurs from your hand and reveal it. The players with the most ferocious beast wins.

If you have ever fancied yourself to be a bit of an art enthusiast, The Gallerist will give you an idea of what it is like to run a high-class gallery. In this game, players take on the roll of art dealer, museum curator, and manager for budding artists. The goal is to have the most popular, and financially sound gallery in town.

If you’ve ever been on a road trip across the country, you’ve probably seen your fair share of side-of-the-road vehicle victims. In Roadkill Rivals, players act as travelers on a dusty Arizona highway in search of the perfect roadside varmint. The goal is to collect the right combination of cards to “create road kill” (AKA run over a poor, unsuspecting creature), sabotage your opponents, and earn points. How do you create road kill? Collect certain animal and vehicle cards. If you succeed, splat.

League of Gothic HorrorLeague of Adventures roleplaying fans will be happy to know that there is a Victorian-era expansion based on dark tales of the supernatural. In League of Gothic Horror, players must work to discover what lurks in the shadows using steampunk style artifacts. The 160-page campaign book includes loads of new content, as well as helpful hints for playing a Gothic Horror game.

Why should we settle for traditional gaming dice when we are playing science-fiction themed games? I’m tired of the same old pip style rolls. I want my dice to represent my style. Space Roller is a fancy pants set of six-sided dice that looks like something that would be used in the world of Tron. They have a futuristic sci-fi space design that will make your game night buddies jealous. Now, if only they would make a full set of gaming dice.

Space Roller

Fast & Furious: Full Throttle

GSL1100I’m kind of surprised we haven’t seen a Fast & Furious game until now. Coming in the the Fall from Game Salute, Fast & Furious: Full Throttle is a game of hand management. Played primarily with cards, you’ll be discarding to change gears, playing sets to speed ahead, and decreasing your hand size when you get speed penalties.

With a play time of only 30 minutes, and an age range of 10+, it looks like it’s going to be lighter, family fare. That’s by no means a knock against it! From what I’m seeing, it looks like it’ll be a pretty good time! When it hits shelves this fall it’ll have a MSRP of $40.

In 2010, Fantasy Flight Games released a collector’s edition of their popular War of the Ring game, based on J. R. R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Ring novels. That version contained nearly 250 hand-painted miniatures, larger cards and game board, all-new art by John Howe, and of course the huge wooden box. Selling for just under four hundred dollars, used copies of the game with dings and scratches can be found on ebay for the low, low price of $1525.


Ares Games then released the second edition of War of the Ring. Now, to celebrate the fifth year of the new edition (and the 60th anniversary of the publication of Return of the King), Ares has announced the Anniversary Release of War of the Ring Second Edition. This version will not be in a wooden box like the collector’s edition, but will include 205 hand-painted miniatures, a larger board, two hardcover books in a slipcase (one rules, the other a companion book), and dice produced in new colors specifically for this edition.

Preorders begin at 2 PM, EDT, on July 20th, according to the countdown clock on the website. Preorders begin at 1 PM, EDT, on July 20th, according to the press release. However, no need to rush to the website at one o’clock or two — Ares does not have a limit on how many copies will be printed. Although initially saying the run will be just 2000 copies, there was concern about disappointing fans who were not quick enough to the website. “We hope 48 hours is an adequate time to make sure all interested War of the Ring fans, who cannot be in front of their computer at the time pre-order opens, will have a chance to get a copy,” said the company.

The game will be sold only during this two-day pre-order period for $369 per copy, plus 19% VAT for members of the EU (about $71), postage and handling (anywhere from $20 to $75).

Ares estimates the game will be shipping in Spring, 2016. They say that they “may need to consider shipping the product out in waves” if they receive significantly more than 2000 pre-orders. “Realistically, we should be able to fulfill all such orders in Spring or Summer 2016, at the latest.”

Once all three expansions for the base game are released, Ares states they would like to manufacture a similar Anniversary Release-like expansion companion. But, as many factors can come into play regarding the practicality of doing all expansions as a single release, the company recommends not basing “your purchase of [the Anniversary Release] on the expectation of a future release of painted expansion sets.”

And, as a personal note: Please give me $389 so I can get a copy.

tmntKevin Wilson will be designing a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles boardgame for IDW Games, based on the comic book series. TMNT co-creator Kevin Eastman will be providing artwork for a special limited-edition format of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shadows of the Past. The game will be a scenario-driven campaign style game, similar to Kevin Wilson’s earlier work Descent: Journeys In The Dark. Players take the roles of one of the titular turtles, or Shredder. Expansions are planned based off of IDW’s TMNT micro-series, longer comic book story events, and characters from the IDW comics.

Nate Murray, the project manager for IDW Games, said the game will be available for preorder in October, with the game to debut in early 2016.


I know, I know, but I just can’t get enough of Fantasy Flight lately. We had a grand introduction of your favorite Red Viper and the Martells a few days ago, and now FF is leading us out of the Summer Sea shores into a Mafia town, where players are divided into two large groups, the civilians and the Mafia members.

Each player is further assigned a specific role that carries a special ability. The two groups must utilize the scattered clues to discover everyone’s true identity, and eliminate the real foes in order to survive in the ruthless community. And to make things extra delicious, the game also features two alternative modes: Yakuza and Loner. In the Yakuza mode, another criminal clan is added to fight against the Mafia and the civilians, while in the Loner mode a powerful role that leans to the Mafia’s side brings twists to the civilians’ mission.

Mafia: Vendetta is a party game for 7 to 17 players, and is expected to be released in Q3 2015.

Labyrinth board gameYou remind me of the babe.

The movie that made seven-year-olds into lifelong fans of David Bowie and turned the Muppets into rock stars is getting a bit of board game love this year. River Horse recently announced that they have acquired licensing to create a board game based on Jim Henson’s Labyrinth movie.

The game has not yet been designed and there is no information as to its future launch. However, on the game’s Facebook discussion group page, River Horse Managing Director and the game’s designer Alessio Cavatore noted that the plan is to make it a traditional family-friendly board game (so, no minis).

attack_on_titanA few years ago, an action adventure manga won the hearts of genre fans in a story called Attack on Titan. The book series spawned an international hit anime television show, more than half-a-dozen video games, two feature-length films, and a myriad of merchandise.

Thanks to a collaboration between Cryptozoic Entertainment and Don’t Panic Games, Attack on Titan will soon have a line of board games, too.

According to a press release, the first Attack on Titan board game, which is designed by award-wining game designer Antoine Bauza and Ludovic Maublanc, will be available internationally in 2016. It will be a cooperative style game with one person playing the roll of Titan and the others playing the heroes. ” The game features a revolutionary game mechanic, the Titan piece is a vertical game board element and the hero game pieces climb in an effort to take him down.”

Look out for a number of different Attack on Titan board games to launch over the next few years. Hopefully, the anime fan base won’t be as fickle with board games as they are with television shows.

Marvel Dice Masters: Age of Ultron


Just released, the Age of Ultron starter set for Marvel Dice Masters gives players a starting point based off the blockbuster summer superhero movie. Combatible with other Marvel Dice Masters set, the AoE starter set includes: 44 custom dice, 38 cards, two dice bags and a rulebook, enough for 2 players. The set includes new characters never seen before in MDM. Rocket Raccoon, Groot, Captain Marvel, Daredevil, and Kang join familiar fan favorites such as Iron Man, Hulk, Captain America, Black Widow, and Thor.

Retail for the set is $19.99.

Of course what would a new starter set be without supporting products?

$.99 foil packs can help you bolster your forces with 2 cards and 2 dice in each pack.

There’s also a $19.99 Age of Ultron playmat which displays all the info, card locations, and dice locations you need to play.

Don’t forget the $24.99 Age of Ultron collectors box! It contains: 20 custom dice, 1 felt dice bag, 10 Basic Action Cards, 4 Indicator Cards, 1 Full Art Promo Card, 4 Marvel Dice Masters: Age of Ultron Foil Packs, and 2 dice storage trays that hold over 300 dice.

Crowdfunding Highlights

Fifty years after the game’s first release, Flying Buffalo is bringing back Nuclear War. The classic card game has players attempting to eliminate each others’ populations. Fallout from a nuclear warhead, however, can be unpredictable. And any player wiped out is given a last chance to launch all their remaining cards, thus possibly setting off a chain reaction where everyone loses.

Exploring the collapse of society in a more nuanced fashion is the story game, Downfall. This one sees players building the setting together, in particular its cultural landscape. Then they choose a flaw—like conformity or greed—and narrate how, despite heroic attempts, that flaw becomes the seed of catastrophe.

For those contemplating the aftermath of cataclysm, there’s Conflicted. As much a discussion tool as a card game, Conflicted presents morally challenging situations for preppers. How far are you willing to go to survive?

World War Cthulhu: Cold War is a 1970s espionage setting for the Call of Cthulhu roleplaying game. It’s as if the cold war and potential for mutually-assured destruction weren’t scary enough.

Slip CupSlip Cup is a cup insert that keeps the ball out of the beer in Beer Pong. Sized to fit most 16 and 18 ounce disposable cups, Slip Cup has tabs to keep an on-target ball from bouncing out, and is short enough to hold that ball while leaving room underneath for the penalty beer. A numbered pack of 20 (enables a variety of new games) can be had for a pledge of just $5 plus shipping. I’ll leave you to decide if this project is part of the apocalypse theme.

Last up and definitely off the theme is Hocus. It’s a card game derived from Texas Hold ‘Em Poker but with a fantasy theme that allows a player to cast spells to play cards to the community, the pot, or a personal pocket. Several hands, each with their own community, pot, and pockets can be played simultaneously.

Hocus Kickstarter

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