Happy American Independence Day.
This week sees a turn to Gamefound again over Kickstarter with many of this weeks big titles launching over on Gamefound in the next 7 days. I look forward to seeing the new Crowdfunding platform from Backerkit and how it holds up against its competitors.
This week seen the rise of Amun-Re: Anniversary edition and more tiny offerings from Button Shy.
Everyone knows of the pyramids on the Nile — eternal monuments of a powerful and beautiful culture that can still take our breath away. The players (leaders of a royal Egyptian family) choose their sites, build their pyramids, and thank Amun-Re and the other gods for their bounty.
In Amun-Re, each pharaoh wants to build the most pyramids. To accomplish this, they must first acquire a province where they can trade and farm. With their profits, they can buy new provinces and building stones to erect pyramids. For all their actions, players must make clever use of their power cards and always offer appropriate sacrifices to Amun-Re.
Amun-Re: 20th Anniversary Edition features four new expansion modules that can be added to the game:
Statues: In each of the first three rounds, grand statues are added to certain provinces. These statues each grant unique powers to the player who controls the province in which they are built. This expansion adds extra interest to the auction phase and gives players their own player powers that may vary each time. The statues will be miniatures representing Egyptian gods.
Afterlife: A fourth purchasable item is added to the market phase: afterlife tiles. These tiles are then placed using the rewards granted to players in the offerings phase or by discarding unwanted cards and tiles. Players place the tiles into their own personal pyramid shape, starting with a base of up to five tiles. Each placed tile gives the player a bonus, and this bonus is multiplied if the tile is placed on top of matching tiles within the pyramid. At the end of the game, each completed row of tiles is worth points.
Pharaoh: This mini expansion adds tension to the auction phase by rewarding players for overbidding other players. The Pharaoh moves to each province that is overbid, and at the conclusion of the auctions the player who wins the province with the Pharaoh receives a token that grants extra rewards in the subsequent offerings phase.
Viziers: Viziers are added to the auction phase. Each player now bids on both a province and a vizier using the same bidding mechanisms. With 3-5 players, these viziers are placed off the main board, and a player must work out which combination they want to pursue. A variant allows two or three players to place viziers in the provinces themselves, bidding for two provinces but choosing only one province and one vizier. Each vizier grants an instant bonus, and combining these with your provinces becomes a key to success.
Mini Express is a strategic train game for 1 to 5 players in which you and other wealthy capitalists manage four railroad companies. Through careful planning and ruthless execution, players pioneer the western expansion of the 19th century, vying to be the most influential railroad baron and complete the transcontinental railroad.
Mini Express is a sequel of sorts to Mini Rails in that on a turn each player takes one of the two available actions, although otherwise the games are not similar. Your action choices are to (1) lay track to expand a company's railroad or (2) take a stock from a company.
To lay track, you take train pieces from the company's reservoir on the game board and place them one per hex to expand that company's network to a new city. When you do this, you gain influence in the goods that are in demand in that city. (The game includes four types of goods, and each type of good is the same colour as one of the railroad companies.) Each city can have at most 1-3 companies enter it, and when that limit is reached, you remove the demand tile from the game. When you build into a hex (whether landscape or city), any other train companies in that hex gain a train in their reservoir (to represent them profiting from how your efforts affect that area).
To take a stock, you must decrease your influence in that company equal to the number of trains in that company's reservoir. If you can't do so without going below zero, then you cannot take that stock.
When all the shares have been claimed from two companies or two companies have no train pieces remaining, then you complete the round and the game ends. For each good/company, you multiple the number of shares you hold by a points multiplier that's based on how much influence you have in that good/company relative to other players. The higher your standing, the more valuable each of your shares will be. Whoever has the most points wins.
Good Night Goodbye is a 3-5 player bluffing game. Players play one of three cards to score points.
To win: The first player to score 10 points is the winner.
How to Play: Each player gets three types of cards: night, wind, and sea. The players elect a leader from among their players.
First the leader places a card face down. The player then declares to the other players which of the three types of cards he or she has played. At this time, you may make a false declaration.
Next, all players except the leader declare which cards they will place in turn. Then they each place a card face down. At this time, it does not have to be served as declared.
Finally, the cards placed by everyone are turned face up and the score is calculated according to their combination.
Tectonia is a board game where players become a chieftain of one of four different archaic tribes which wage war against the other tribes. 247 years ago Tectonia was hidden by an energy beam which lead to an burst and activity of the tectonic plates. Start your game with an individual formed world of water, grassland and rocky tiles. For the game setup you get a huge water map on which the grassland and rocky tiles where put on top. By replacing or removing the grassland and rocky tiles you create the board game map and change it during the game.
Game-play: Players collect energy income. They invest in units, buildings, battle card upgrades and terraforming actions. Attack adjacent areas with your battle units. Battles are solved with battle dice and battle cards depending on the involved battle unit types. Establish buildings to recruit stronger units. Develop your battle cards to improve your fighting power. Random and player induced terraforming happens during the game so be on your guard.
Goal of the game: Become the "Emperor of Tectonia" by owning victory conditions or form alliances and force your opponents to surrender.
Bagh Chal is a traditional abstract game that is popular in Nepal. The name roughly translates to "Tigers Moving". It is an abstract strategy game with an asymmetric setup, i.e. a different number of pieces per side (like Hnefatafl and its ilk). One opponent plays four tiger pieces and the other plays twenty goats.
The board bears a passing resemblance to a Chinese Chess board in that the pieces move along lines from intersection to intersection. However, the gameplay is more similar to Alquerque, Checkers or Draughts. At the start of the game, there are four tigers on the board while there are no goats. The goat player places his/her pieces on the board one by one wherever they choose, with the tiger player getting a move between each placing. Once all the goats are on the board, the two players take turns moving one of their pieces one space. A tiger can alternatively capture a single goat by jumping over it in a line to an empty space. The tigers win if they can capture five goats. The goal for the goats (who cannot make captures) is to hem the tigers in, giving them no opportunity to move or jump.
Royal Hospital is the premier hospital in the world—a place where the globe’s most infirm patients come to seek the very best medical treatments on the cutting edge of science.
At the heart of Royal Hospital’s success is a worldclass medical team, led by the world’s premier physician, The Director.
Change is in the air, and Royal Hospital is in need of a new director. The board is considering a small list of candidates who are currently running high-end facilities around the globe.
You and a small group of the world’s best hospital managers will be put to the test to identify the next leader of this storied institution.
In Royal Hospital, each player oversees the management of a hospital. Players make decisions about how to structure their hospital, how to treat their patients and where to invest their resources.
At the end of the game, the player with the most victory points will be chosen as the new director to lead the Royal Hospital project.
The famous Senate Square in the centre of the Finnish capital is surrounded by government buildings, the university, the cathedral and the Sederholm House. The players ́ task is to design pavilions across the square to protect pedestrians in the rain. Helsinki is based on the design of Copenhagen by the same design team, but with some added complexity.
The centre board depicts the Senate Square with 8 spaces (two per side) and 8 cards, with each card connected to two spaces. The player on their turn advances their pawn 1-3 spaces, then must choose to take cards or build a pavilion. Each space is connected to two face up cards, and the player may choose to draw these into their hand (making sure to respect the 7 card hand limit, a key challenge in the game). The cards are in one of 5 colours and show a shape of size 2 to 5. To build a pavilion, the player plays a card showing the piece they want to play, and then must play an additional number of cards of the same colour to match the size of the piece. Finally, the piece must be "slid" onto their game board (which also represents the Senate Square) from the side of the Square their pawn is on on the main board. Covering certain spaces earns a coat of arms, which may be spent to use one of the 15 one-time special actions.
Players score points for completing rows and columns, and the player with the most points at the end of the game is the winner.
This stand-alone expansion to the FlickFleet space combat dexterity game adds two new asymmetrical alien species to the game along with rules for up to 4 players (when combined with the FlickFleet base game).
The new species are: The Hive who have organic ships which can quickly heal and spit parasitic boarding pods and can grown an endless swarm of drones; and The Storm who's ships are fast and manoeuvrable, and pack a devastating punch, but are fragile and need to be protected lest they be overrun.
Flick your ships into position and then flick dice from them at your opponents' ships to damage them and degrade their systems.
In Trickdraw, you collect gold and call on allies to become the local hero (or villain!) of the mercantile town Trickdraw Junction.
Cards can be played two different ways. Face down as gold (worth 1 point), or face up to perform actions. With only 10 points to win, any card you draw is guaranteed to push you toward victory.
The real trick comes not in how you use your cards the first time but in how you REUSE them. As you play, you’ll discover numerous ways to flip the cards in front of you. And whenever you flip a card face up, you can activate it again immediately!
You can also do the opposite. Flipping a spent card face down gives it new value as 1 point. This mechanic lets you find creative uses for your resources, giving all cards relative value. Your best card one turn may be better face down the next.
These tools allow for strong combos, sneaky plays, and cheeky bluffs. New strategy will emerge each time you play, and no game will feel quite like the last.
THE FOLLOWING GAMES ARE AVAILABLE AS OF NOW:
SpaceShipped: Lockdown (new expansion, previously unreleased)
Revolver Noir: Rogue Agents (new expansion, previously unreleased)
Wonder Tales: Rumplestiltskin and Magic & Mayhem solo (new expansions, previously unreleased)