Crowdfunding Highlights

Scott Almes’ Heroes of Land, Air & Sea is much bigger than the Tiny Epic games he’s designed, but retains the epic-ness. In this 4X boardgame set in a fantasy world, 1-4 players try to take over as much as possible, collecting resources, building structures, and conquering regions. The base game from Gamelyn Games comes with four factions, the 5-6 player expansion comes with four more factions. The base game is a reward for a $79 pledge while a $139 pledge gets you that and the expansion next March. Is it already funded? Each box comes with 80 miniatures: of course it’s already funded.

Are you a fan of the series of games where villagers trying to uncover werewolves in their midst? You’ll want to check out Werewolf Coins by Home Run Games, where roles are stamped onto twenty-eight (base set: more added as stretch goals) different quarter-sized coins, fitting in a synthetic suede pouch. Um. That’s pretty much it. They’ll retail for $30 for the base set, but you can get one as a reward this summer for a $22 pledge to make the product happen. Will it happen? As I type this, they’ve blown past their goal by 2500%.

Dude. Ties. With d20s on them. Do I need to write more? A $15 pledge gets you a d20 tie in red, black, or blue in July. Again, already funded, with about $2500 of the $1000 needed to make this product happen. If Kaleb Mankey gets up to $3000 in backer support, they’ll add yet another color to the line. Unsurprisingly, we’re hoping for purple.

Looking to upgrade those wooden shapes in your games? Meeple Source (a past advertiser on Purple Pawn, although that doesn’t weigh into us highlighting them this week), has painted upgraded wooden tokens and custom-shaped pieces for games such as Camel Up, Pandemic, Colt Express, Above and Below, Catan, Carcassone, and more. Reward levels start with pledges as low as $10 for a single-color set for some games with expected delivery times of October and December of this year.

Crowdfunding Highlights

Cam Banks’ Magic Vacuum Design Studio has launched a Kickstarter campaign for Cortex Prime, the newest version of the Cortex Plus system. Cam was the lead designer and developer of the Cortex Plus system, which was used in the Smallville, Leverage, Firefly, and Marvel Heroic Roleplaying games. Two different books are offered, a 152+ page roleplaying game, and a basic system reference guidebook. A $10 pledge gets you pdf versions of both books in January while physical copies begin at $25, arriving in April of 2018, with a hardcover Cortex Prime book only available during this campaign starting at $35.

Posthuman Studios has announced a second edition of Eclipse Phase, launching a funding campaign last week. The science fiction roleplaying game is set in a quite advanced future: your mind can inhabit different bodies, death is something that can be easily avoided, and need is alleviated. However, transhumanity has fled Earth following a war against artificial intelligences, dispersing thoughout the solar system (and beyond) for survival. The new edition features faster character creation and resleeving (switching from body to body), an updated ruleset for quicker and simpler play at the table, and a redesigned layout to minimize flipping through the book to find relevant rules. Already funded, a $60 pledge gets you a copy of the physical book around October; a pdf-only reward is available down at a $20 pledge.

The story of Brass is a long and troubled tale, but finally Brass is being reprinted in an updated version from Roxley Games. Brass, now titled Brass: Lancashire, is part of a funding campaign that also is producing a sequel game, Brass: Birmingham. Both games have updated artwork (the best art I’ve seen in any edition of Brass, frankly). Lancashire features updated 2- and 3-player rules to “provide an experience more consistent with [the 4-player gameplay]”. Birmingham has a dynamic board setup with new canal and rail scoring (plus an evocative nightscape map). Crazily over-funded and with several upgrade stretch goals already unlocked, you can get either one of the games for about $60 or both as a reward for backing at the $100 level. (Funding levels are in CAD.) Final versions of the games are expected in January of 2018.

Back when I was heading up a rather large monthly game day event, it seemed that every third attendee was a budding game designer. Gameplaywright and Atlas Games are creating a great product for these designers: The White Box. This project comes with components for prototyping and development, a book of essays about how to make games, and a gift certificate for The Game Crafter, a small press board game printer that is commonly used for prototyping. A $30 pledge gets you a copy of The White Box in October. Higher level pledges get you a consultation on your game design.

An early adopter of crowdfunding, Tasty Minstrel Games is now looking to raise general operating and marketing funds through equity crowdfunding portal MicroVentures. The company says it has three games in development, 15 in production, and has sold over 400,000 units since 2010. It appears that any return on a crowdfunding investment could only come about through the sale of shares back to the company or if the company as a whole was sold at some point in the future. But equity crowdfunding is significantly more complex that your typical game project. Read those documents carefully.

Calliope Games has been doing a great job with its focus on easier-going strategy games. Next in that line is to be Dicey Peaks, currently funded and aiming for stretch-goals in its final hours on Kickstarter. I got a brief preview of Dicey Peaks at Toy Fair. It’s a push-your-luck dice game of mountain-climbing. To win, players must make their way to the summit while managing their oxygen and avoiding yeti attacks.

With Commands & Colors: Tricorne from Compass Games, designer Richard Borg takes his C&C card-driven system to the American Revolution. The game will include more than 300 wood blocks, printed dice, a mounted map-board, and separate decks of combat cards to represent the differentiated strategies of the British and Colonials.

On the verge of funding is another block war game, Combat Infantry. Columbia Games’s version of squad-level combat in World War II, this one emphasizes fog-of-war with blocks that are single-sided and rotate to record current strength. The box will include six historical scenarios from the invasion of Normandy, as well as four additional generic scenarios.

Tesla vs. Edison: Duel is an abbreviated, two-player card game that covers the same history of early electric utilities as Artana’s full Tesla vs. Edison board game. Most importantly, the company finally included Samuel Insull, my favorite personality of the period.

Kenzer and Company is on Kickstarter for the first time with Aces & Eights: Reloaded, a revised edition of its wild-west roleplaying game. Kenzer promises a second edition “chock-full of new rules, tweaks, art and other enhancements,” while maintaining the game’s unique shot-clock, a targeting overlay for fun old-west style shoot-outs.

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Currently on Kickstarter: two review(ish) boardgame shows looking to do awesome stuff in their sixth year. Rahdo Runs Through is looking for funding for a sixth year of production, with most of his $30,000 goal reached. Rahdo’s funding comes through yearly campaigns like this: no YouTube ads are on his channel of gameplay videos. The Secret Cabal, a gaming podcast, looks to expand their offerings to video, additional programming, and more by making co-host Jamie Keagy a full-time media producer for the group. They’ve already hit this goal and offer several promo packs for a variety of games at a $45 pledge level.

I’ve always liked the games with transparent cards (see Gloom and Ren Faire from Atlas Games and Gamewright’s Imagine). XYbird is a monster-makin’ game that uses these cool components. Following your diabolical secret agenda (well, secret “breakthrough” cards), you build monsters from the lab with a combination of the 116 transparent cards to become the most infamous mad… no, genius scientist extraordinaire! The world will be yours! Or at least this cool game will be yours in November, for a $29 pledge.

Now I like the design of the ships in Star Eagles, a miniature spaceship combat game, and at $60 for a physical starter set good for two players, I don’t think the pricing of the game is off. But the lore or setting of the game is an original IP and isn’t spelled out on the campaign page apart from “here are some humans” and “here are the aliens” and “they fight”. The sculpts look great and the game system is said to adapt most small-ship fighting battles, so if you have some Cylon Raiders and Colonial Vipers handy… The pdf of the rules will be available in July along with files for your 3d printer, physical copies are to be available in September.

I have to recommend Lizard People: Lords of the Media for an interesting party game. I’m having a difficult time deciding if I should put it next to the “It’s just like Cards Against Humanity, except _____” graphic, because while it plays like Apples to Apples combined with Texas Hold ‘Em, somehow it looks… good? Like there’s an actual game here and not just like a fresh coat of paint on an already-acclaimed game design?

Here’s the deal: we’re all lizard people and we’re manipulating the media by pitching headlines for articles in the hopes of gaining favor with the editor so he’ll give us a human meat-suit disguise so we can walk among the humans and be One of Them. The editor plays three word cards from their hand (Horse, CEO, Uncovers) then the other players use at least two of those words in combination with their cards to create an article headline (Human CEO Discovers Teen Were- Horse). Editor picks the best, awarding a human body part covering to the winner. A $16 pledge will get you a copy of the game in December.

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The people who created TSR’s Alternity roleplaying game are looking to bring the game — well, a new game inspired by their earlier work — kicking and screaming into the 21st Century. “The ‘tech’ of RPG system design has moved on a bit from 1997,” writes Sasquatch Game Studio’s Rich Baker, “and we’re looking to create a system that captures the spirit and the key table experiences of the original game with an updated approach.” Advertised as its own game, not a second edition, reboot, or remake, the creators have a free beta playtest available on DriveThruRPG. Various reward tiers are available, but you’ll really want to start at the $45 level which gets pdf versions of the core book and all sourcebooks and adventures unlocked during the campaign. Estimated delivery is in December.

If you run a game store or game cafe, or do video reviews of boardgames, Massif Displays offers collapsible stands for displaying those games. Sets (one large display, two medium, or four small) start at $8, but pricing drops with multiple sets — twelve display sets are down to $4 per individual set. Delivery is scheduled for August.

Oh, and something called Gloomhaven went live yesterday. It was at $1.15 million when I started writing this sentence, but wound up at $1.16 million when I ended it.

Huh. Still no full-on Cards Against Humanity knockoff this week. But hey, look at this, it’s another dirty words Charades.

But wait, Dirty Lines A Game For Dirty Minds isn’t just a straight charades photocopy! You gain points extra points if you can get the others to guess some key words before they get your main word. So you’re really trying to charade up to five words in a short time. Oh, and hey, the sample card on the kickstarter campaign isn’t really a naughty word, it’s just racist! Five days left!

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Announced last year, Restoration Games was created to breathe new life into classic games, updating them to our modern world. One of the first games mentioned was Stop Thief!, a 1979 board game with an electronic element: a handheld device that made sounds of a thief walking, smashing through windows, and opening doors. As detectives, you pieced together where the villain might be and move in for the capture. The new version moves the handheld tracker to an app for phone or tablet and swaps the roll and move mechanic to a point-to-point movement system based on a small handful of cards with abilities. Currently funded, Restoration Games expects the game to be ready in August, this year.

One of my favorite creatures from my Dungeons & Dragons days was the mimic, that master of disguise. And now Forge Prints is kickstarting a whole bunch of mimic miniatures: trap doors, books, wooden barrels, sleeping bags, graves, and even a wizard’s cap. Most of these come with two or three versions: actual props and toothy tongued mimic monsters. The campaign has some confusing reward structures, but you’re really going to want to get in at the $35 level to get the stretch goal minis. Extremely overfunded at this point, just over a week into the campaign, they expect to deliver in July.

I love me some post-apocalyptic gunshooting vehicular-combat madness, and Badass Riders looks like a fun card-based boardgame to scratch that itch. Build a track, choose a driver and vehicle, and during the game start playing cards to rush, race, and attack other vehicles in this Mad Max-like sprint to the finish line. Currently funded, 20$ (plus shipping) nabs you a copy. Expected delivery is December, 2017.

The Adventurer’s Collection Tabletop Soundtrack is a “nearly fifty track collection” of background music tracks for roleplaying game sessions. The designer is planning on using funds for the campaign to create a website that streams music using a simple interface. AU$15 (about $11 USD) gets you early access to the audio tracks in April, slightly less gets you access to them on the official launch date in August.

I was looking forward to this Crowdfunding Highlights article so I could write about what new Cards Against Humanity knockoff was being offered, but… there weren’t any. Maybe it’s a weak week for CAH off-brands.

However, I did come across Bad Words, which is an exteremly NSFW version of Taboo. You get a card that has a phrase or word that other players have to guess, but also on the card are five forbidden words that you cannot use. Can you get your teammates to guess “Eiffel Tower” without you using the words “Paris”, “threesome”, and “high five”? This is the company’s third attempt at launching the game on Kickstarter, originally shooting for a $30,000 goal, then a $12,000 goal, and now with a modest $1,000 goal, they’ve succeeded in funding! For every $100 raised, there’s four more words added to the game — right now, a $15 pledge will get you the base 208-word deck plus the (currently) 92-word expansion.

Oh, and check out the video for drunk people eating snacks and trying to talk about the game.

Edit: Updated the article to reflect the number of words in the Bad Words game per the creator’s note below.

Crowdfunding Highlights

crowdfunding-highlights-iconBitbox is a game storage system for taking the components for your game — boards, rulebooks, and all those little pieces — and storing them, cutting down on the space required for all those game boxes. A unit fits within an IKEA Kallax cube space, and the video shows fourteen different games (Stone Age, Concept, Reverse Charades, Splendor, Power Grid, Telestrations, Machi Koro, Survive, The Lord of the Rings TCG base set, Ticket to Ride, RoboRally, Codenames, 7 Wonders, and Kingdom Builder were shown) stored in that single Bitbox. $50 gets you a Bitbox and a carry-to-game-night box. If we knew about this thing before it launched, you could have had that for $30.

The Prince Valiant RPG just came on Kickstarter last week. This game, set in the time of King Arthur and designed by Greg Stafford, is a storytelling game designed to be accessible to younger players. If you’ve wanted to tell stories about noble knights, you can get a physical copy of the game book filled with gorgeous full-color artwork from Hal Foster’s comic strip for just $30.

220px-TheWarriors_1979_Movie_PosterWell, after our last look at Crowdfunding Highlights, I think we’ve covered all the modular-board scenario-based standalone miniature battle games up on Kickstarter and — are you kidding me? There’s The Warriors: Turf War, based on the 1979 movie where a gang is set up for murder and all the gangs in New York City are hunting them down. Included in the base game are several miniatures, including the comical Baseball Furies (just called “Furies” here). Let’s do the rundown from last time: “early bird stretch goals not completely sold out (hurry!), more than three dozen miniatures (46!), second-ever KS from the company, $105 normal price tag. Come out to play.

Jackson Robinson does cards. You’ve got less than 19 hours to get some awesome currency-inspired playing cards. The cards are based on American and Chinese currency. (I’ve got one of his Wasteland decks and they’re really fantastic.) $14 gets you one of these decks, $28 gets you two. Stop reading and go now! There’s just *gasp* 18 hours left now! Go! Go! Go!

ChinaCards

not cahHonestly, I can’t wait for the US Presidential election to be over. There are soooo many Kickstarters that are trying to capitalize on Trump or Hillary that we just know aren’t going to fund or, god forbid they actually do fund, won’t be fulfilled any time before the election. Case in point: What the Drumpf, which is Apples to Apples with questions and Trump-like quotes “and the debate leader picks the funniest, most racist or most insane answer”. They want 3500 GBP for this thing.

Last week: People Vs. Politics, the “CAH with uncomfortable political discussion” game — how did it do? Unsuccessful, with just under half of the $4800 goal made.

Crowdfunding Highlights

I wonder how many modular-board scenario-based standalone miniature battle games do we really need? If you said, “Just one more, as long as it’s got Bruce Campbell in it,” you’ll be happy to hear about the Evil Dead 2 miniature boardgame that was recently launched. Does it hit all the notes? Early Bird Special that’s already gone: check. Three dozen plus miniatures: check. First ever KS by a company you’ve never heard of before (Space Goat): check. $100+ price tag: che– what? The “deluxe” edition is only $80? Huh. Come get some.

Cryptozoic Entertainment is releasing The Walking Dead: No Sanctuary which is a modular-board scenario-based standalone miniature battle game. Early Bird Special gone: check. Three dozen plus miniatures (68): check. First ever game: nope, it’s Cryptozoic, who has done lots of stuff. $100+ price tag: check — $125. Anyway, this one looks like it has better graphic design than Evil Dead 2. Get your argument battle simulator here.

darknesssabotageMeanwhile in space, Dethrone Games has Darkness Sabotage, a modular-board scenario-based standalone miniature battle game where you’re space pirates fighting demons instead of zombies (not that anyone would call them “zombies”). Early Bird gone: what? Five slots left? Scads of minis: check (46). First ever: kinda — they had another modular-board scenario based standalone miniature battle game that was cancelled. $100+ price tag: It’s right there at $127 CAD. Get your Event Horizon/DOOM/Space Hulk hybrid.

Back in World War 2, Draco Ideas presents 2GM Tactics, a modular-board scenario-based standalone card and token battle game. Set in the European Theater of Operations, this game uses cards and tokens instead of fifteen pounds of plastic to represent the units. Run ’em! Early Bird Pricing All Gone: check. Tons of minis: well, cards and tokens. First Ever Game: nope! $100+ price tag: only $83! Bust some Nazis.

2GM

not cahPeople Vs. Politics is Cards Against Humanity, but with forcing uncomfortable political discussions into your circle of friends. “Some people feel our game is offensive and racist. While some of the topics touch on these issues the overall goal is to create dialogue…” with such discussion-starters as “a bigger, blacker Washington Monument”, “going to college for free because you’re 1/18th Indian”, and “anchor babies”. It’s like finding out how racist your uncle is on facebook, but in person.

Last week: Did Pick Your Poison make it? We were looking forward to this Would You Rather… game making it, but nope — it passed 20% of the funding goal before ending.

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!

kubb

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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Mutant Crawl ClassicsGoodman Games is doing for the post-apocalyptic genre what it did for fantasy with the Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG. Mutant Crawl Classics, inspired by Gamma World and Metamorphosis Alpha, is stand-alone but still fully compatible with DCC. Characters can be human, mutant, manimal, or plantient and in a typical adventure venture the wastelands to collect lost super-science.

For a system that’ll allow gamers to make their own mutants, Weapons Grade Funk is working toward a line of customizable anthropomorphic miniatures. The current round of fundraising will support sculpting of all the various body parts. These will then be incorporated in to an online application with which users can mix-and-match for 3D printing.

Game of Blame combines be-the-first-to-dump-your-cards game-play with a kind-of hot-potato mechanic for a light card game of courtly intrigue. As the queen’s advisers, the players know that personal success isn’t really about fixing the kingdom’s problems but instead about making sure someone else takes the blame for the things that go wrong.

Planetarium CardBeautiful and with a unique theme, Planetarium from Game Salute has players forming the planets of a new solar system by colliding matter on board orbits, and then further evolving those planets through the play of various cards.

Back on earth, players operate ice cream trucks in Rocky Road a la Mode, Green Couch Games’ tribute to the summer season. Cards in the game serve either as music to attract customers or as frozen treats to relieve the heat. With the right customers, players can also lay claim to summer hot spots, such as the pool, park, or ball field.

For the more sinister players, there’s Mr. B’s Madness at Midnight, a cultists-side Cthulhu game. This one combines worker placement and action-dice mechanics as players fulfill sinister plots and work to control key locations in Arkham. The first to 13 victory points is the winner, that is as long as they manage to keep the investigators at bay.

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