Grand Prix International


Crowdfunding Highlights

Oh, I love the illustrations in Space Race: The Card Game. Journey into the Cold War and the dawn of space exploration. A bit of role selection and card combinations await in a really interesting game engine for 2-4 players with a playtime of 30-60 minutes. There’s less than a week left and it’s already funded. A pledge of approximately $33 will get you a copy of Space Race.

f292d8ba85c843140fef4ab758c46e66_original

Cyberpunk RPG + Powered by the Apocalypse? That’s my song. The Veil, already funded, is another Apocalypse World-based roleplaying game set in the near future. And oh, does it look so pretty. About $10 gets you the PDF, about $28 gets you a physical copy of the book, too.

Dice boxes: You can get the cheap-looking laser-cut ones that look like puzzle pieces on the edges, or you can plunk down a bit more to get something that looks well-crafted, like Steven Parker’s through his Elegant Dice Boxes campaign. $40 on up gets you a sweet box for storing your dice. (Look at those joins!) Stephen is running this to acquire additional equipment for his wood shop to expand the business.

elegant dice

ohnoHave you ever wanted to carry your board games around but oh no you’re a clumsy oaf? Well, now there are two — yes, two! — competing Kickstarter campaigns about game bags going on right now! The Gamefolio System lets you either pack games into a big bag ($99) or toss those pesky game boxes away and shove all your components into smaller bags that fit into the bigger bag ($155). The Game Canopy has a smaller bag for $87 or a bigger bag for $117. They all are interesting but a huge upgrade from ol’ reliable Frakta from IKEA ($3 and about $114 to $151 of games). The Game Canopy design looks really slick. (Psst: Guys, let me know if you want a product review.)

not cahThis week’s Marketplace Confusion/Parody/Coattail Riding spotlight is called Bad Apples, which shows that at least the people behind this 18-card “expansion” know where Cards Against Humanity originally came from. Yep, eighteen cards with a C$227 goal, which makes me think that even if they do get printed and sent, they won’t be the same quality as the original CAH cards. Fun: This is the second time they’re running this campaign after the printer increased their print quote (?); this second campaign has nearly the same funding goal and the same reward tier.

Q: What about last week’s Diabolical Kittens? Did that fund? A: Nope. Just C$282 of C$8,000 were pledged.

Harry Potter Hogwarts BattleDue in August from USAopoly is Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle: A Cooperative Deck-Building Game. The game has players adopting the roles of Harry, Hermione, Ron, and Neville to combat a series of villains infiltrating Hogwarts Castle. Each has their own deck of cards, to which they’ll add spells, magical items, and other characters.

Hogwarts Battle comes with a game board, health tracker boards, dice, card boxes, and 245 cards at a suggested retail price of $50.

[5/11/2016] Note: The information above was gleaned from the websites of BBCW Distributors, CoolStuffInc, and BoardGameGeek, who may have released the information early. It has not been confirmed by the publisher.

Board Game Stamps

Singapore Post recently issued a set of stamps featuring traditional board games: Chinese Chess, Diamond Game, Aeroplane Chess, Snakes & Ladders, and Checkers.

SingPost Traditional Board Game Stamps

Based on the true store of Phiona Mutesi, who after having dropped out of school at age 9, made her way from the slums of Kampala, Uganda to international Chess prominence. In theaters September 23rd.

Game Bandit

Game Bandit - Scouring the net to find the cheapest discount boardgames and best free boardgame prizesGames Workshop is giving away—though an $85 minimum purchase is required—three prize bundles that each include paints and other supplies, terrain, and $3,300 worth of miniatures (winner’s choice).

Everything Board Games is giving away Star Wars Rebellion from Fantasy Flight Games, Blend Off from Thunderworks Games, and two copies of World’s Fair 1893 from Renegade Game Studios.

The Giveaway Geek is giving away Aether Captains from Mage Company and two copies of The Foreign King from Giochix. Also Blood Rage from Minos Games and Codenames from Czech Games Edition, separately but in a single giveaway.

Amazon has Z-Man Games’ The Swarm for 70% off and Skyline 3000 for 89% off.

Eagle Games’ Tracks & Trains Sale features everything rail-related at 25-50% off.

Get every book of the 1990s Castle Falkenstein steampunk RPG for about $20 in the latest Bundle of Holding.

Educational Insights’ games are 20% off at Toys “R” Us.

Use coupon code “MAYRESTOCK” for $5 off Mayday Games’ recently restocked Viceroy, Meteor, and Dead Man’s Draw.

For May, Osprey Publishing is discounting Men-at-Arms and Elite series books 20%.

Fantasy Flight Games’ Anima RPG will be withdrawn from DriveThruRPG on May 16th but until then can be purchased for 30% off.

WizKids is partnering with Star Trek Online to give away prizes that include a Starter Set, Borg Cube, and Weapon Zero for Star Trek: Attack Wing.

Miguel Zavala has offered up for free 300 fantasy miniature models for 3D printing.

Kickstarter Preview—Tak

Tak

I hesitated for a while to write up Tak. Given the few games I’ve played, I’ve clearly just scratched the surface. But then again, that’s what I already enjoy about the game. With such simple rules, there’s so much to explore. Tak is one of those abstract games that manages a lot of challenging play in a very uncomplicated package.

I’ve also never read the novel from which the game is derived, The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss. And yet, perhaps even more than the interesting game play, it’s the imagined history and culture of Tak that has me so engaged.

The game works like this… On your turn you either place a piece (called a “stone”) on an empty square—standing up or laying flat—or you move a single stack of stones already on the board in a straight line, dropping some from the bottom of the stack in every space along the way. Generally, you can’t place a stone on top of a standing stone, that is, unless you do so with the special capstone piece to flatten it. Winning is accomplished by connecting any two board edges with a contiguous line of flat stones, and that is called a “road”.

Tak players of antiquity played with hand-carved pieces of various shapes and sizes. Some were just wooden squares or rounded stones; some were intricately decorated. Standard colors, shapes, and sizes for the pieces vary from time to time and place to place. Travelers typically played 5×5, using simple wooden pieces and an improvised board (or no board at all). Court players typically played the larger 6×6 game. Capstones could be highly specialized, and Tak players often carry their own personalized capstone, even if they don’t carry a whole set.

…So the instructions go, interspersing rules with brief lessons on the game’s archaeology, etiquette, unique terminology, and varying styles of play—short but one of the most enjoyable board game rule books I’ve ever read.

Cheapass Games’ Kickstarter project for Tak has just 10 days to go but is already funded 10 times over. Backers have options for different stone sets, beautiful wood boards, and a book with more on the game’s fictional history.

CT FIG – Oh My Gods! by Gameworthy Labs

CT FIGIt was hard to miss Gameworthy Labs‘ booth at CT FIG, seeing as they were dressing in togas and had a GIANT banner. It’s no wonder they won the Most Spirit award at the end of the day. Of course their game, Oh My Gods!, also was a runner-up for Best in Show. I’ll be going more in-depth with the game soon, as a review copy is on its was to my doorstep, but I’ll give you a quick overview.

It’s like Guess Who on steroids.

Oh My Gods!

Well, not really. That would do a disservice to the game. What it is is a clever deduction game with a bit of bluffing and strategy tossed in. One of the Greek gods has stolen Zeus’ bolt, and it’s up to the players to figure out who. This involves trying to figure out what the other players have in their hands, cleverly using your Gods’ powers to stack the deck in your favor, and finally guessing who the hidden thief is.

I played a quick demo game at the show, which had a limited roster of gods to play with and played in around 5 minutes. It was a lot of fun, and I can’t wait to dig into the full game with all it has to offer!

btlc

Let me start off by saying I love Big Trouble in Little China. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched the movie, growing up a child of the 80’s. That being said, I feel this Legendary Core Set is…a bit weird.

Aliens? OK. Predator? Awesome. Firefly? Shiny!

Big Trouble in Little China? I don’t know. It could be really awesome, but Legendary Core Sets are a big expense to take a gamble on something like this. I’m not really digging the box art, either.  I want it to be good, but it seems a little ridiculous. I mean, it could be pretty funny mixing this with other sets, but again, that’s a big gamble.

The game hits shelves in August for $50, and will contain 350 cards with original art.

 

CT FIG – Small Cave Games

CT FIGSmall Cave Games was showing off three games at CT FIG, two of which I had a chance to play at the show.

The first game I played, GATUCA, is a DNA dice-building combat game. Players roll dice, match up their results to items they wish to buy on their boards, and resolve those actions. There’s combat actions, defensive actions, and actions that let you purchase, alter, or reroll your dice. By the end of the game each player is rolling massive amounts of dice and trying to break through their opponent’s defenses.

Next was This is Just a Test, a game about stockpiling resources with a cold-war era theme. It’s sort of a worker placement, resource management game where you need to make sure you get the best stuff, hoard it, and hope you’re prepared for one of three outcomes: nothing happening, the dropping of the bomb, or a Russian invasion. Each turn event cards are played that can either further along the maturity of your items, or end the game immediately depending on the draw. It’s tense, with a lot of tough choices.

The last game at the table, Ophidian Wars, is a card battle game that’s already making some waves over at The Game Crafter. It’s a game of sci-fi gladiatorial combat that uses a unique flow mechanic. As long as you play positive (+) cards you can continue to act. As soon as you play a negative (-) card, the control of the game now moves to the opponent. The 69 card deck contains everything two players need to play the game, or each player can customize their decks with multiple copies of the game. I took a copy of this home to review, so I’ll have more to say on this later.

Overall a really strong looking line up!

 

PAX East 2016 – Pixel Glory by Zafty Games

paxeast2“What’s this? You just posted about an 8-bit inspired game a few minutes ago!”

You’re right. I did. I’m an Editor here at Purple Pawn, so I’m allowed to do pretty much whatever I want.

Anyway.

Pixel Glory is an 8-bit inspired, fast-paced, deck building game where the players are wizards purchasing their spells, then heading down to the dungeons to do some damage. Everyone works together to kill the monsters, but only the wizard who deals the last blow gets the credit and fame for the kill.

The overall design here looks really great, and the gameplay is fun and light. Zafty also has two expansions for the game: one dealing with pets, and a newly (pay what you want) Kickstarted one for achievements.

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