PAX Unplugged—Ares Games

Just in time for PAX, Ares Games’ launched to retail Battlestar Galactica Starship Battles ($60). It’s a spaceship miniatures combat game in some ways similar to other such games on the market. Movement is facilitated by templates. There are cards for various pilots. And draw tokens to determine damage.

Like its namesake television show, however, the game features an added level of realism for spaceship movement. Ships carry momentum from round to round. They can face and fire one direction while moving in another. And the game even carries rules for elevation. Kinetic energy and other maneuvering factors are tracked for each ship on a small, individual plastic control panel.

Battlestar Galactica Starship Battles starter sets come with four prepainted plastic ship figures, two Colonial Vipers and two Cylon Raiders.

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This fall, Ares Games will begin shipping Tripods & Triplanes, an alternate-history miniatures game compatible with Wings of Glory. The game supposes an alien invasion of Earth during the waning days of World War I. The airplanes (same as those from Wings of Glory) are more agile but the alien mechs have powerful lasers. Starter sets will retail for $50.

Later this winter, Ares will launch Battlestar Galactica Starship Battles. Starter sets with two Colonial Vipers (painted for individual pilots) and two Cylon Raiders should retail for $50-60. Of course, additional ships, including Basestars and Battlestars will come later. For each ship, there’s also a small plastic “controller” to track altitude, kinetic energy, and speed. Space combat in this game includes momentum.

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waroftheringAres Games will be opening pre-order sales for the Deluxe Rules, Strategy Guide, and Gameboard for War of the Ring: Second Edition today at 3pm UTC. Pre-orders will remain open until October 5th at 6PM UTC. These items are meant for those who missed out on the War of the Ring Anniversary Release or for collectors who are just interested in these items on not the prepainted minis.

For $69.90 you’ll get an extra-size War of the Ring gameboard (two boards, each 64 x 88 cm) with UV and hot foil printing, the deluxe edition of the Game Rules (56 pages), and the Strategy Companion written by Kristofer Bengtsson (104 pages). Each of the two books is hardbound, with quarterbinding in cloth paper. These two volumes will be enclosed in a deluxe slipcase with a hot-foil imprint, and they are complemented by a set of updated game summaries, printed on textured heavy cardstock.

Delivery will be in December of this year, the same time as the War of the Ring Anniversary Release.

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Crowdfunding Highlights

Outdoor games! Kubb is a lawn game that dates back to the age of Vikings, where you toss batons and blocks to knock over other blocks. Wait, no! Don’t leave! It’s actually a cool game that Downtime Manufacturing Co. is making: Beautiful, solid, hand-crafted wood, with several different designs. Check out the video at the campaign page. They’re just under two thousand dollars away from funding and have a few days left!


Daniel Solis makes small games, and Pod-X is his latest game to hit Kickstarter. The seventeen-card game features a doomed spaceship and a frantic search for the last escape pod. The dealer knows the location, but can she misdirect the other players into giving her the win? A deductive game, this is one of the Button Shy Games’ Wallet Games. Already funded, you can get a copy for a $3 pledge.

Interested in a five-minute cooperative real time fantasy adventure game? Sure, how about Dungeon Time by Ares Games? Gear up, go on a quest, and when the timer runs out, go through the deck to see if you’ve actually completed the goal. This card game seems like a fantasy version of Space Alert (without the soundtrack) or Ticket to Ride: The Card Game (but fun). A $25 pledge gets you a copy.

Maybe something bigger. Far East 1592 is a strategic war game depicting the Seven Year War, where Japan invaded the Korean peninsula. Your troops are modified by thirty different generals. Far East 1592 looks beautiful and, with just four days to go, needs a push to get to the funding mark! The game is available to those that pledge at least $60.

far east war

not cahThis week in the “we can make a Cards Against Humanity knockoff” category is Pick Your Poison, which just looks like CAH, but isn’t as awful or mean-spirited. It’s more of a Would You Rather… game where you choose one thing that’s cool, but are saddled with something that sucks. You’ll get combinations like “Win the lottery, twice, but never be trusted again” or “Go anywhere in the world for 3 weeks, all expenses paid, but never eat another slice of bacon again.” The judge chooses the one he or she would rather. It’s surprisingly refreshing in a field of CAH-“inspired” games. We’re actually looking forward to this one succeeding! If you want a potty-mouth version, there’s also a Toxic NSFW expansion.

Previously, on… Did Drawing Without Dignity, the potty-mouth Pictionary, make it? Nope, they cancelled the project with 37% funded. They’re going to relaunch the campaign with a slightly more sane funding goal ($5k instead of $10k) and trying to market the game.

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Ares GamesBeyond the Throne has announced a license agreement with the Ukrainian games publisher IGames to publish the card game “Behind the Throne.” The game will be available in four languages – English, Italian, Spanish and Chinese.

Designed by Oleksandr Nevskiy and Oleg Sidorenko, Beyond the Throne is a push your luck card game where secret organizations are fighting for control of the Old Kingdom.

The game will be available this summer, and will play 2-4 players, ages 8+. There’s no word of price yet, but I’m guessing it’ll be similar to their other card games (around $20.)

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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.

The Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts & Design
The winners of the 2015 Origins Awards, as given out by The Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts & Design at the Origins Game Fair, are:

Jolly Roger Ares GamesWhat better way to show your buddy you trust him then by joining him on a high sea adventure filled with swashbuckling and treasure. What better way to make sure you get all the booty than to start a mutiny against your buddy and make him walk the plank?

No one said a pirate’s life is easy.

Ares Games lets you test the waters of a pirate’s life in a new card game called Jolly Roger – The game of Piracy and Mutiny. In it, players sail around to different locations, fighting, looting, and burying treasure.

With four to 10 players, one person is the captain and makes all of the important decisions when it comes to where to attack and when to cut losses. Along the way, stack your hand with the right cards to protect in battle and squirrel away gold.

At any moment, a player can call for a mutiny against the captain and take over as the head honcho. Will you join the mutiny or fight for your captain?

The player with the highest amount of gold at the end of the game is the ultimate pirate and the winner. Jolly Roger – The Game of Piracy and Mutany is expected to ship this July and will retail for $20.


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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.

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Galaxy Defenders: Operation Strikeback and Galaxy Defenders: Extinction Protocol are two new scenarios coming out for Galaxy Defenders. Running $74.90 and $84.90 respectively, each expansion adds more miniatures, map tiles, powers, and more.

AREGRPR004Operation Strikeback includes:

  • 1 Rulebook
  • 1 Storybook
  • 24 Plastic figures
  • 3 Double-sided map tiles
  • 10 Psionic powers
  • 4 NPC cards
  • 2 Power suit profile sheets
  • 1 Master alien card
  • 15 Event cards
  • 24 Close encounter cards
  • 12 Alien cards
  • 120+  Tokens and markers

AREGRPR005Extinction Protocol includes:

  • 1 Rulebook
  • 1 Storybook
  • 24 Plastic figures
  • 3 Double-sided map tiles
  • 10 Psionic powers
  • 4 NPC cards
  • 2 Power suit profile sheets
  • 1 Master alien card
  • 15 Event cards
  • 24 Close encounter cards
  • 12 Alien cards
  • 120+  Tokens and markers

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