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.

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Toy Fair 2017—Gale Force Nine

Gale Force Nine’s booth was a science fiction geek’s dream, with products for Star Trek, Dr. Who, and Firefly.

For Star Trek Ascendancy, the Ferengi Alliance and Cardassian Union expansions were delayed shipping from the manufacturer but should hit retail soon at $35 each. Both add new civilizations to substitute for one of the original three or to accommodate an extra player. Gale Force Nine was also previewing a third expansion, which works a little differently than the player expansion sets. Borg Assimilation (due in June) provides a universal enemy and substitutes Borg for discovered planets. However, the first player to be assimilated by the Collective then takes over playing the Borg.

Doctor Who: Time of the Daleks (April, $75) is a 2-6 player cooperative game where each person plays a different incarnation of the Doctor visiting planets and solving dilemmas. The game looks grand, has some beautifully-detailed miniatures, and includes all the Doctors and companions from the whole series but is supposed to play in just 90 minutes. Look for a special K9 miniature in the first print run.

Separate from Gale Force Nine’s existing Firefly series, Firefly Adventures: Brigands and Browncoats is an RPG-style adventure game due in September. Essentially a dungeon-crawl, the game comes with six double-sided map tiles, 15 bad-guy miniatures, and two versions each of five crew figures. The two of those are there to represent the development of additional skills that each character can go through during the game.

Legendary-Encounters-Firefly-ArtShiny! Upper Deck has announced that a new core set for Legendary, a Firefly one, will be released in July. That’s 500 cards of gorram goodness. It’s cooperative, with players working towards completing episodes without earning too many strikes. Once an episode is over, the game starts anew. The game will feature all-new artwork, and have fan favorite protagonists such as Patience, Niska, Saphron and the evil Alliance.

Along with 500 cards, Legendary Encounters: Firefly will include a game mat and full color rulebook and retail for $59.99.

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Firefly Fluxx

Firefly FluxxLooney Labs announced on Thursday plans for a Firefly Fluxx. The company is working with Gale Force Nine, which holds the Firefly license from Twentieth Century Fox.

Firefly Fluxx is expected at retail in “early 2016” with a suggested price of $20.

What else is there to say? The game will feature all the characters and other elements you know from Firefly and all the chaos you expect from Fluxx.

Gorram cards!


I’m a huge Firefly fan, but I’ve been holding off on snagging the board game for some time now. With the release of the Kalidasa expansion, and now The Whole Damn ‘Verse Game Mat, I’m thinking now may be the time to jump in. The mat covers all the systems of the base game and the Rim Space Expansion, Blue Sun and Kalidasa. The whole thing is a 50″x20″ vinyl beauty.

Of course it’s also $39.99 on it’s own, and you still need the base game and all the expansions to use it.

That’s ok, though. It’s so shiny.

Both the new Kalidasa expansion and The Whole Damn ‘Verse Game Mat will be available in August.

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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.

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Firefly Resin Ships

GF9FIRE007Fans of the Firefly Board Game can soonget a package of resin ships to customize to your liking. In the box there’s 4 Firefly Class Ships, 1 Reaver Cutter, and 1 Alliance Cruiser. Each miniature is unassembled and unpainted, and reproduced from the original  with a higher level of detail.

I don’t even own the game and I want this box.

You’ll see these available for $50 in February of next year.

Legendary Encounters Alien Deck Building GameAfter teasing some limited information at Gen Con, Upper Deck made official this week its plans for Legendary Encounters: An Alien Deck Building Game. In fact, the company announced an expanded licensing arrangement with Twentieth Century Fox that will produce “trading cards, trading card games, stickers and sticker books” for the Alien, Predator, and Firefly franchises.

Regarding Legendary Encounters: An Alien Deck Building Game, Upper Deck explained:

While the game can be played on its own, Upper Deck is working to incorporate certain elements from the Marvel Legendary Deck Building Game to be compatible with the new Alien game.