Tag Archives: Kickstarter

Kickstarter Interesting Projects #3 (13th Mar ’14) – Tuscany: Expand the World of Viticulture & MERCS: Recon

Wow, March is an expensive month! 2 High interest (to me) epic games launched within a day of each other! I’ve backed games from both of these creators before, and while I’ve not yet received Myth it’s expected in a month or so and is shaping up to be very interesting (If apparently a bit in need of an FAQ ^^).

Tuscany: Expand the World of Viticulture

Stonemaier games, a company/pair of individuals I consider to be the most communicative, friendly creators on the platform, who also find ways to bring great value, are bringing an absolute stunner here, which takes their first game Viticulture to new levels with this Expansion pack. Viticulture is one of my absolute favourite games despite not even being a theme that would normally draw me in, and with these extra modules come something greater than the sum of it’s parts, that is absolute worth looking into. The pack is split into 3 tiers of modules, with the expectation being you unlock a module every 1-3 plays and unlock all of a tier before moving to the next.

The first tier has small impact additions, which work together to smooth out and refine the original game. Mamas & Papas adds variable starting conditions for players, which give people a focus from the start of a game & for me will never be excluded from a game again. Patronage adds a special wine order for each player, which they can fill for a couple of points, and if they fulfill a given condition, a few bonus points on top. Advanced visitors are a new set of cards which are balanced to help out through all stages of the game (Whereas some of the original ones may have had bigger impact earlier or alter). Property cards allow you to sell off fields for money, trading off the space for growing to build up other areas of your vineyard. These come together brilliantly, adding unique player powers & strategy and vastly improving the replayability of the game.

In the second tier are a few heavier impact changes which greatly change the feel of the game. First up is the extended game board, which takes the 2 season play to 4 seasons and adds some new action spaces. The extra seasons make being 1st stronger, but this is balanced by bigger bonuses for going later in player order, a very interesting thing to think about indeed. Special workers are new unique workers that cost a little bit extra but each provide a unique power to the player, 2 are used per game and make for even more unique plays. Finally there are an additional set of visitors, which have more complex interactions than before making for tougher chocies for those you want it.

Finally comes the third tier, which consists of ‘one-at-a-time’ expansions which add to the player boards and bring new elements to the game to consider alongside the making of wine. Arboriculture (Which was also available in the original kickstarter) adds ‘arbors’, which is to say lets you grow tomato’s, apples & olives to add to orders, which also introducing the concept of worker morale, which should be kept high to ensure success. Formaggio, the ‘cheese’ expansion, gives players cows to milk and process into cheese, which can be added to orders or sold individually, but has a management aspect to consider that it may go off if kept around too long!

This is just what’s available so far, with stretch goals adding yet more content to this awesome looking expansion to a great game. If you are at all into worker-placement games, I consider this a must have, and if you love wine on top you should certainly consider giving it a look! The game is scheduled to ship to backers for November, and I fully expect it to have aged wonderfully in that time ^^.

MERCS: Recon

Going a little bit up on the price scale is this intriguing looking miniatures game from Megacon Games. I first heard of these guys when I discovered (and subsequently backed) their campaign for their cooperative fantasy dungeon crawl Myth last year, and was drawn in by the quality and care they take to their products. While I won’t have Myth myself for another month or two, shipping has begun for American backers and it sounds like the game is as excellent a quality as I’d hoped if with perhaps a few shortcomings on rules clarity. Throughout that time they’ve been communicative and friendly, and that’s let me to looking into this new project from them.

In MERCS: Recon, players act as mercenaries infiltrating a ‘megacon’, where they must fight through narrow hallways to capture & interrogate employee’s or find and secure objectives. The game is set in their MERCS universe, an interesting near-future scifi setting with advanced weapons and technology.

The map for each game is created with a variety of tiles which fit together in a variety of ways to create a different layout each time you play. These different layouts will lead to the need for differing tactics as you fight your way through the office, as well as setting up situations where you might want to damage the environment  (Yes, destructive environments!) to open up new routes or even pass between floors to make your way to the objective of that particular scenario.

The endpoint of each game seems to result in what the Megacon guys are referring to as a ‘Breach and Clear’ situation. It’s not really clear to me what the point of this is, but you have an expanded tile to ‘zoom in’ on the action and play out the finale in some epic way (I hope it’s epic anyway ^^). Presumably some scenario’s change this up, with talk of civilian capture scenarios and more.

I’m not quite 100% on my interest in this one, but one backers comment summed up what I want from this nicely – a futuristic style board game that plays out like the popular video game Counter Strike (In fact, I’m hoping for some outdoor tiles that might help me to recreate cs_office ^^. If that sounds like the kind of thing you might be interested in I encourage you to browse on over to the kickstarter page and see what you think!

Ok I’ll shush in a moment. These are some pretty expensive kickstarters and they’re going to be putting me out of budget for games for a while, but I hope of some interest to you as the reader of this post! Again, if you’re interesting in Tuscany and in the area, come along to halesowen board games next week and I’ll show you how it plays, and if you back Recon and want to see their other project then come along to try out Myth when that arrives in a month or two! Till then, byeeee! ^^.

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Halesowen Board Gamers #8 (12/03/2014)

Halesowen – 12/03/2014

This week at Halesowen I was going to hang around and let someone else suggest games again, but master-organizer Mike split the highly undecisive half of the room I was in up to groups with me providing a game for 4 of us from that group. Mark showed interest in playing Belfort, as I had the box out as a result of picking up Belfort: The Expansion Expansion, so out it came (Without the expansion, mind, I need a chance to learn how it works before I throw it at people, particularly with new players ^^). The players for both games were: Mark, Ian, Stan & Me.


Belfort

Belfort is a worker-placement game where players are vying to me the most influential participant in building up the city of Belfort. The game is played over 7 rounds, and 3 of these, the 3rd/5th & 7th are scoring rounds. When scoring, players get points based on majority participation in the 5 segments of the city, (5/3/1 points awarded to 1st/2nd/3rd place respectively) and then points for most workers of the 3 types – Elves, Dwarves & Gnomes, with 1st place earning 3 points and 2nd place earning 1 point – There’s no 3rd here. The big caveat here being that scoring points also leads to paying taxes, with each 5 points taking you up a tax bracket (Paying 1 more money per round in taxes), this makes it so after the 3rd round players need to start being careful to ensure they have enough money to spare, or lose victory points if they don’t!

Each round takes place in a number of phases. The first of these is placement, where players can place their workers on the variance ‘plank’ spaces on the board & their own properties. Available in every game are ‘Recruit a worker for 2 money’ and ‘Switch Player Order’ spaces, the former of which has more spaces available for higher player counts (resulting in 3 players being far tighter for workers than 4/5). There are also 5 ‘guilds’ which have spaces available, which are different every game and provide the big variability in the game. In our game, we had 2 resource guilds (4 Wood, 2 Iron respectively), 2 Basic Guilds (‘Place a coin under a property to make it worth 50% more for majorities’ & ‘Recruit an Elf, Dwarf or Gnome’) and 1 Interactive Guild (Gain 1 Coin + Receive 1 resource from each player with less walls than you). The rulebook has suggestions for the distribution of basic/interactive/resource but I just go with 2B/2R/1I as it’s fairly easy to pick up for new players. It should be noted that you don’t immediately get the benefits when you place a worker, that comes later.

When a player passes out of the placement phase, they distribute their remaining workers (And there will be some) across 4 resource gathering spaces. These spaces provide wood (But requires Elves only), stone (Requires Dwarves only), iron (Requires an elf + dwarf) or coins (Either). These give you a straight 1:1 of number of workers to resources, but whoever has the most workers (Ties don’t count) gets one bonus resource, so it can be worth it to stagger your needs so you can take majorities and get those additional resources. (Also, this is one of the elements of the game which benefits you to be last, as it’s easier to work out where you can nab/block a bonus from other players).

Once everyone has passed and distributed their workers to the collection area, placement is over and the collection phase begins. Players take their workers back from the collection area and take the resources they’re due (Including bonus if they had the majority), as well as taking an extra worker if they invested in one (Not from the guild as that’s on the city board) and order-rearrangement. At the end of this phase, players receive income and pay taxes. Income is from properties, and some of those that you can build have a coin icon in the top corner. Taxes are, as I mentioned earlier, based on your score, so if you scored high early, you’d best be sure you can afford to pay for it now!

Following this comes the action phase. Going in (potentially different to placement as it changes in collection) player order. In this phase a player can build properties, walls or guilds (Spend resources & place one of your house pieces in the city to represent it’s yours), visit the trading post (Buy 1 thing and sell 1 thing), retrieve workers (Getting their benefit at this time) and buy a gnome (one/round) for 3 coins. These can all be done in any order, then at the end of their turn can buy 1 property card (3 are face up, or can take a random) for 1 coin if desired. Being 1st in this phase helps you avoid interactive ‘steal resources’ abilities by running yourself dry, but being last means you’re building properties last and have an easier time getting majorities in the various sectors in the city.

When teaching the game I suspect I placed too much emphasis on early scoring making things difficult for the players. I say this because the first thing everyone did (Including me, to be fair) was place 2 properties in an area away from other players. Ian was the first (I think) to spread out a little. As a result of the ‘gain a worker’ guild I went for a focus on rushing for a lot of workers in this game over getting buildings. The first round of scoring put Ian out into the lead with his wider spread of property placements, me & Stan in the middle of the pack, and Mark at the back who very much avoided getting early taxes. (I think it was something like 3/turn for Ian, 2/turn for Me/Stan & 1 for Mark).

As the game moved forward, I continued to spam workers and tried to keep the space blocked so that noone could contend me for those points, while also taking the space that improved my properties to be worth more for majority as I wasn’t able to build as many. Mark set himself up with a wall to take resources from players so I made sure to build a couple of walls to keep myself protected (As well as get majorities), the side-effect of this is my stack of workers usually just went to gather money so I could pay my tax (Most properties provide income, walls don’t). Ian managed to get out a lot of properties and spread them around (Not many more, but I think he had the most). I think Stan was focused on propeties too, but he was being a little quieter so I’m afraid I missed a lot of what he was going for (Sorry!).

As we moved into the last season (So just after the 2nd scoring phase where our taxes get really quite high) Ian maintained his lead, while I stayed fairly close behind and Mark managed to capitalize on his lower taxes before to build enough for a big jump to catch up with the pack. I got a bit worried through this bit as the territories I was in got quite highly contested, but the extra strength of my buildings from getting that guild every turn in the game helped me keep up enough to do ok. I’m not sure who of Mark/Ian & Stan got the most points from area majorities in the last round, but I believe Ian/Mark got ahead of me until we counted up worker majorities, where my 6elves/6dwarves (Or 7, not sure) net me 3 points each and caught me up to Ian for a tie in first place. Strictly I won from having more resources left over (I tried to gamble with the thieving guild but just got tons of wood when I needed but 1 stone!) but I decided to share the key-to-the-city, for now! Mark was close behind and Stan wasn’t much behind him either (I think that’s the right order anyhow).

Smash Up

Following Belfort, we had roughly an hour left so I suggested Smash Up and some interest was shown so I grabbed the box to play. I have some ‘selector’ cards which me & my girlfriend made to make setup a little more random with a draft for each players 2 factions (As the standard rule tends to result in the same faction combo’s every single game). This left me as Alien Locals, Stan as Robotic Bears, Ian as Elder Carnivourous Plants & Mark as Steampunk Cultists.

If you’re not familiar with the game, the reason we each had 2 factions are because we take those 2 decks and shuffle them together to play, hence the slightly random sounding pairs! Each deck has a number of minions/actions (Usually 10 of each) and those are played throughout the game to try and capture ‘bases’. Each base has a breakpoint, an effect and some scores. When the power of all minions on the base is over the breakpoint, the scores are distributed to players depending on how much power they had there. The effects vary, and could be when minions are played, when it scores, etc. Each turn, players can play 1 minion and 1 action, which may allow them to do further and more interesting effects based on what the card says.

The start of the game set the precent, with Marks cultists stacking him with madness & Ian doling out even more besides with a byakhee on a base we shared. We shared that base because Stan moved one of my minions there of course (And that particular base soon became ridiculous, with 5+ actions on it and a ton of minions, which took ages to capture as the plants overgrowth card nerfs everyone elses minions by 1 power). Mark made the understandable mistake (First time with cthulhu) of using a fair few madness cards to draw cards rather than returning them to the deck, I generally flailed a bit as my minions/actions just wouldn’t synergise and Stan/Ian did pretty well through the first half of the game.

Sometimes that can change, but on this case it was actually a pretty consistent in that Ian & Stan continued to do well at grabbing bases. Most of Ians madness cards came to me & mark thanks to neat choices made by Stan, particularly in where he placed and where he moved minions to (I.e. making it less attractive for Ian to use a Byakhee on bases he was on so he got less madness from it). I continued to struggle, and while I got a base to 10 power without anyone else bothering to compete for it couldn’t quite capture (I had an action that would have made it 15 but didn’t seem to be able to get enough power there until nearly the end of the game for it actually work). A base came out at one point that could have removed all of Marks madness and catapulted him to compete with Ian, but as I had a terraform card I used it to prevent this and hoped it might delay the game long enough for me to start scoring points (Which it turns out was fated not to be).

We started running out of time near the end of the game, and reduced the playspace to make things go faster (When the last few bases scored we didn’t replace them). I managed to get the base I was going for on my own I think to take 3 points, as well as contributing to another, but this only got me to 9 points for the end. Ian got his ‘2 madness cards to every player’ card right near the end which made it extra difficult for us all as we had to waste actions getting rid of it, and Stan, while he did quite well, didn’t quite get enough points down to take the lead off of him. At the end of the game I think Stan had 1/2 madness, I had 4 (Reducing me to 5 points, waaaah), and Mark had well, lots, but had a lot more points than me and finished on I think 7. Ian took the victory here, so congratulations to Ian ^^.

That’s all for now, although I’m probably going to make a post soon about a couple of kickstarter projects if anyones interested in crowdfunding some stuff (Tuscany & MERCS: Recon). If anyone who goes to halesowen each week is interested in Tuscany I can set up a game next week with prototype bits ^^. Cheers!

Kickstarter Interesting Projects #2 (4th Feb ’14) – oddball Aeronauts, Tiny Epic Kingdoms & This Town Aint Big Enough for the 2-4 of us!

It’s been a while since I decided to post about kickstarter projects I’ve backed, but this month there seems to be lots of low-cost ones that are very interesting, and I just happen to feel like saying something about them!

Tiny Epic Kingdoms

This is the biggest of the 3, (amusingly, as they’re all ‘micro’ sized), and wraps up 4 days from now. Tiny Epic Kingdoms has you playing of one of a variety of races to prove your dominance in the smallest 4X game I’ve seen.

Players compete to try and be the best at a variety of key areas in order to ultimately prove themselves the best. They can try to expand their population across the map, discover powerful magic, build colossal towers or battle their way forward in the name of victory. These are tiny kingdoms nonetheless, and there’s simply not enough room which should make for some interesting interactions between players as they vie for resources.

The guys making this game have done an amazing job of advertising it and getting information on it out there, and managed to get my attention a good while before the project even started. The shipping isn’t great, and there’s a risk of customs charges, but the components look lovely and there’s a huge amount of factions gained from being a backer to provide lots of variety in a game that will be lovely to take anywhere. Take a look for yourself! ^^.
oddball Aeronauts: Pirates vs the Pendragon

Next along in size is a card game that if you don’t look close enough could be dismissed as a top-trumps derivative. That would be a mistake however, as this game looks to be remarkably deep and a very interesting game for 2 players to enjoy just about anywhere. I’ll try to explain a little, but I’d urge you to watch Richard Hams (rahdo) Runthrough of the game on youtube to really get a good idea of it. The campaign ends on the 3rd March so plenty time for you to decide ^^.

Each turn players go at each other by comparing 3 statistics on their cards (Sailing, Boarding and Cannons), the interesting bit being that you can use up to the top 3 cards of your deck for the comparison, and that number is  done simultaneously, with all the cards used being lost as ‘damage’. Cards also have abilities that can be manipulated to try and make your way to victory. There are also event cards in each players deck that can change things up, and introduce yet more strategy to the game in trying to set yourself up to win those events.

Looks great, and I’m looking forward to receiving it later this year. £15 shipped to anywhere is pretty nice too.
This Town Aint Big Enough for the 2-4 of us!

Finally, the latest micro-game from TMG, in their pay what you want with $3 minimum format, is this carcassonne-in-appearance tile placement game, Players put town tiles with various ‘brands’ on them which represent each player in the game, and when an area is completely fenced in, it gets scored. The cool bit is that each player in that area scores based on the next lowest number in that area, so if you have 4 brands and another player has 2, you get 2 points and they get 0 (As below them is no-one).

The game comes with 24 tiles, and maybe more when stretch goals are hit, which looks to provide a lot of fun in a small package. It’s also possible that multiple sets might work combined, as backers suggested, to which the games designer is play-testing now in response to peoples inquiries. I hope it works well as I’d happily pick up a few with them being so cheap for each copy ^^. The project has another 9 days in it, and is already nearly double it’s goal with only 1 day on the site so far, definitely worth a look as it costs barely more than lunch! ^^.

Thanks for your time and such, I hope you’ve found something interesting to back here! I think oddball Aeronauts looks the most interesting, as it should lead to some great 2-player gaming opportunities when I’m with my girlfriend Grace. The others look amazing too though, else they wouldn’t be nicking a cut of my budget for games this year, so I recommend you go for them all ^^>

Kickstarter Interesting Projects #1 – SoB, Journey and Templar Intrigue

I don’t really have a specific definition for what to include in a post like this, suffice to say it’ll be for projects that I think look quite interesting, and if I had money I knew was spare, would definitely back.

My inspiration for this is pretty much the first game I’m going to mention, as I think it looks particularly exciting and am rather sad that I can’t really afford to back it. It also put me in a mood to take over a list that ran for a while in boardgamegeek of the 10 top funded board game projects on kickstarter, which you can find at the following url.

http://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/150923/2013-kickstarter-boardgame-projects
Shadows of Brimstone

Shadows of brimstone is a cooperative dungeon crawler game set in the Old West, with horrors and bandits abound. Players create characters in classic Western roles, then venture out into the wilderness and down into deep mines in search of adventure.

This project, which has been running since October 23rd, has racked up a huge $750,000 sum already, with 11 days left for it, and looks to overtake the hugely successful original Zombicide project in the next few days. With a value that high you can probably guess it’s a miniatures project already, which is has in spades.

Rather than go for a typical approach of a single box with expansions later, SoB has 2 core boxes right from the start with their own set of characters and adventures set in the same world. It’s possible to get just the one of these for $75, but the real starting level is at $150, where you get both boxes and stretch goal content making this a particularly valuable point to back at. There’s also a higher level, mine cart, which includes all the unlocked add-ons, for a crazy amount of content at a somewhat crazy price of $475.

As the project progresses there is some amazing new content being added, from different enemy types to whole new ‘otherworlds’ to travel to and explore. It’s a very exciting project to track as it evolves, although a lot of additions are optional add-ons that will increase your pledge ever closer to giving in to a mine cart level.

I don’t know what else I can say about the project really, except I really hope a friend that’s looking at it takes the plunge so I can try it out when he receives his copy! Go take a look, you may like what you see!

Journey: Wrath of Demons

Another miniatures project of the moment, this project has it’s roots set in Chinese mythology. Through the game you play as pilgrims fending off bull demons as you search for the Sutras, with the ultimate goal of defeating the bull demon king in a showdown at the end.

The game provides a variety of quests to play through, and is open to various paths for your pilgrims to take, be it slaughtering waves of foes, or cleansing their souls in an effort to be better men. The art of the game looks great too, with a huge wealth of art, architecture and drama in the Chinese mythologies it’s based upon.

I’m not quite so enamored with this project as SoB, but I think it looks like something worth a longer glance to those who can afford it. The miniatures are bigger than other games I’m used to, and look like they’d be great fun to play the game with. Currently it’s at $237,000, but I wish them luck in reaching much dizzier heights as the campaign continues and they hit more stretch content.

Templar Intrigue

To finish up, we have something a “little” bit on the cheaper side. This project has a minimum level of $2 ($3 international) for the game, on a pay what you want system where the recommended ask is $5.

The game itself is a werewolf/love-letter style game where you are trying to work out what roles the other players are in and use that to your advantage and win. In this particular game, you do know ‘some’ information about other players, but not necessarily their allegiance! No moderator is required in the game and play is fast, with the aim being to win a few rounds rather than just the one. Predicted play time is 30 minutes for 3 games.

That’s about all I know really, but I think Tasty Mintrel Games are an awesome company and I am more than happy to chip $5 in on this project. I can’t wait to get my hands on both this, and other projects by them as they come available in the future.

That’s all for now, hope everyone’s having a good week, farewell! =)

New Games: Gear & Piston, Byzantio/Nekken

Yesterday morning I received a parcel. it turned out that parcel was the delivery of pair of kick-starter projects I backed earlier this year, both by LudiCreations. I was expecting them soon, but so earlier was absolutely brilliant service, and it’s awesome to know they were sent from Essen!

Gear & Piston

So far I’ve had the opportunity to play this one twice. In it, you are an engineer in the late 1800’s trying to design a prototype automobile to compete with the forthcoming motoring giants. You do this by developing new parts, scrounging for junk and ultimately in order to meet deadlines, using any old scrap that’ll get the thing working!

In the game you place tokens (workers) in a few places to try and gather the parts you need (or prevent others from doing so!) to build your wonder machine. These are:

  • The Black Market. Here you can do dodgy things at the cost of losing one of your actions next turn. These include looking through the next few new parts to take one, stealing a part from another players hand, and shifting your position on a location to get what you want first (or even go last to get the first player token next turn!)
  • The Patent Office. I find it a strange idea for the new parts to be here, but it does the job. Here you can take a single new part from a wide selection (6) or a random one from the stack. At the end of each round all the available parts are discarded and a new 6 are placed out. Also, when a part is taken it is immediately refreshed, so it can pay to take a piece later if nothing really appeals for your car that’s already out!
  • The Junk Yard. Here you can scrounge parts that have been dumped by the motoring giants or other people trying to develop their own automobiles. These aren’t quite so lovely and sometimes have volatility that represents how likely your car would be to just collapse during use. The advantage is that you can take 2 from here, although the selections a little smaller than the patent office too (3).
  • The Workshop. This location is where everyone heads back to their workshop and tinkers with their machine. You can build, upgrade and remove parts from your prototype and work it to perfection here. Going early in the order lets you get more done, but the last player gets the 1st player token next round.

Each game you have a few investors to compete over who provide some extra points based on what you’ve built. One investor for example likes a car with a long range and another just wants it to be comfy, other still might want a really long automobile to roll around in. These are what provide a bit of spice and variety to each game.

I really enjoy seeing what everyone comes up with as the games goes on, whether it’s a dirty petrol vehicle with dodgy components or a luxury hybrid. I’ve lost both the games I’ve played, although the 2nd I at least drew for 2nd place (4 of us). It may or may not help that the first game we just did a few things wrong, and the second we extended the game longer than I think we were supposed to because we just didn’t want to stop with half-vehicles that would be more scrap than not, i.e. not much fun ^^.

The game does up to 6 and is pretty easy to teach, so I can’t wait to get some more plays in and I just hope it doesn’t get stale as one of the players felt it might. I will not rest till I make a petroleum gas electric hybrid!

Byzantio

This is a very interesting game in that I backed it more because I was interested in the company, LudiCreations than because I wanted the game. I wasn’t sure at all if I’d like the game as there’s things involving writing and hidden data which aren’t really something I’m accustomed to and don’t like people doing in games where it’s not a deliberate mechanic ^^

In it, you are competing to control a variety of cities across various regions of the Byzantio world. At the start of the game you write down the cities that you are aiming to have control of and will get points based on whether you get those or not. The reason it’s hidden is that at the end of the game you get points if you can guess your opponents primary high scoring city correctly.

To achieve your goals, you have 30 available actions of a few different types – Campaign, Muster, Advance, Negotiate, Bribe and Expel. There are 30 rounds and a set number of each of these, so you must plan wisely to not limit yourself in later rounds and lose your empire. Advance is an interesting one as it’s the only way for big movements across the map, and you only have 4 of them. Use your last one before having half your cities taken from you and you’ll be in serious trouble.

As it turns out, I found our solitary game really fun to play, with my chosen cities happening to be not too overly competitive with my foes, who really seemed to bicker a lot over their disturbing similar set of places!

In the end I won by having control of 4/6 cities, with a 5th as a draw (Half points). One of the other players guessed my home city, which I had placed as an island which as it turns out, for at least the first game is a really obvious idea to go for (Everyone’s was an island!). I guessed one other persons. Of the other 2 players, one guessed both and the other guessed neither, but they had control of or drew on enough of their cities they couldn’t match my sprawling and beautiful empire!

Very interesting game, and I look forward to my future plays to see how our strategy develops over time. I can see the misdirection elements of the game coming heavier and heavier into play as the players go through it, with next game for example everyone’s main cities being likely to be a nonchalent town in the middle of the map to try and obscure it in among fights over the islands to try and draw people’s gaze away.

I’d like to finish with a massive thanks to LudiCreations, for delivering their projects not just on time, but one a month earlier than the estimate and 1 2 months earlier (If only by a day into those brackets). Very great service and I look forward to backing future board games from them.

Hope everyone’s had a great Halloween and continuing to have amazing parties to do with it!

Bye! =)

Kickstarters, Life and Apologies for being lazy at Blogging

Lets start on the last thing I mentioned in the subject, er, my bad for being terrible at keeping to a schedule! A few weeks ago I decided to try and post twice/week and haven’t stuck to that at all. Hopefully I’ll be better at keeping to the posting after the following news!

So the good news I mentioned. It seems I will be changing status from ‘looking for job’ to ’employed’ very soon, after an interview that went well on Friday and a followup meet today. This means I’ll be kept occupied in the days and more importantly, feel motivated to actually post things here when I get the opportunity. I have to drive to get there so this week I’ll be trying to get a hold of a car which will be interesting, as I spent all of Uni avoiding having one ^^.

Finally lets get to the first thing in the subject, kickstarters! In this case a quick summary of status of projects I’m following, most which I’m finding myself particularly happy with concerning communication from the project creators!

Zombicide

Ok so this has had not so perfect communication, but I’ve received the 2 base games through (Prison Outbreak and Toxic City mall) from the kickstarter which I’ve played a couple of times now. It’s a shame that the stretch goal content has been split out into a ‘wave 1.5’ which is what I’ll be waiting on next (With Wave 2 early next year), but I’ve gotten to try out and had great fun with what I’ve received. I’ve even got some foamboard and made a custom storage solution for the new boxes so the original game fits in neatly with the new stuff!

Among the Stars: The Ambassadors and Archon: Glory of Machination

I’m getting both of these through my backing of the AtS: Ambassadors pledge, with Archon as an addon. There was an update 5 days ago about the shipping and it looks to be about on track to arrive on time in November. Absolutely can’t wait as the base game is awesome and it’s expansion is looking even more so, with Archon being a nice bonus that I don’t yet know a lot about!

Shadows over the Empire

Another Artipia project! This is a rather interesting game where you try to influence important people in ‘the empire’ to somehow win the game (I don’t really get it, but it looks interesting ^^). This should be set to ship early November and seems on track to reach that goal. I might presume it’ll be included with AtS: The Ambassadors and Archon, but we’ll have to see ^^

Machine of Death

I’m quite happy that we got an update within the past couple of days for this, as it’s a little late (Expected August) and looks like it’s all finalized and in manufacture to ship very soon (November it would seem). Looking forward to finding unique and random ways to kill people off in this little card game!

Gear & Piston and Byzantio/Nekken

These 2 projects by Ludicreations are clearly being organized for shipping together, as updates about shipping are double posted. They apologise a lot for it for people that have backed both, but it’s not something that worries me and I’m happy to see them taking a lot of care to give everyone a chance to correct shipping details before going ahead with it. This looks to be shipped around Essen time and hopefully be delivered late November/early December. Really looking forward to Gear & Piston, with Byzantio being a bit of a wildcard which I’m unsure of, but am excited to try out.

Myth

Another big one, which I spent almost as much on as Zombicide! The wonderful guys at Mercs miniatures post fairly frequent updates on progress, with pictures of what they’ve been up to and plenty of information to keep us backers happy and confident that they’re working to schedule. I think this games going to be an absolute stunner and may even dethrone Zombicide as my monster game of awesome. Should be great, bring it on January!

Euphoria

Looks on track or if not, to be very close to it. This game has be so excited as it’s another game by Jamey Stegmaier, a very interesting person to follow who posts very insightful things about kickstarter projects and how to do well in them. His first game Viticulture is so more more fun that I’d have expected for a game about wine-making, and this time round it’s a theme I find exciting before even trying it out, so looks to be doubly-successful in being fun for me. Roll on December!

DrunkQuest: The 90 Proof Seas

Also looks set to be roughly on track and arrive around when it should. Great to be updated from these guys on what’s going on, and while it’s a shame some ass stole a load of bottle openers which were slated to be included in copies of the game, the creators have gone straight out and found a replacement solution which is even better than the original, absolutely brilliant support for their backers. Getting drunk and playing games is so not going to be a good combination though ^^

Xia

This project seems to be in good shape, with the art looking a lot sexier than during the campaign already. This project is delayed until march by stretch goals, so not much to say on it for the moment except it should be a very interesting project!

Teramyyd: Earthsphere

The beta arrived for this a while back, but I’ve not had much of a chance to try it out unfortunately, and I feel like I shouldn’t really have taken up one of the beta positions (I thought I’d have so much more opportunity to learn it and enjoy it in beta form!). We couldn’t quite work out how it’s supposed to work correctly and didn’t much enjoy the short game we tried, but I still have confidence that the changes that have already been made, and those to come, and the fact we clearly played it ridiculously wrong, mean it’ll be a great project in it’s finished state. It’ll be delayed by a fair bit, but I’m ok with that for the creators to get it right!

Paperback

I don’t really know what to say about this for the moment. There was an update back on the 9th saying it’s been sent to the printers, so guess that means it’s on track and will arrive to create wordy fun for me and my friends in a couple of months ^^

404: Law Not Found

Looks in good shape, with the creator posting regular (1/week) updates through kickstarter on how things are progressing, including a neat breakdown chart of what tasks are getting done. I wish more projects would provide this level of updating, but it’s not really required, just a little extra that I’m sure all the other backers appreciate too. I’ve played the game once in a pre-finished state and found it interesting, so look forward to getting it, or just trying it out sometime in ‘complete’ style (Being as the aforementioned creator lives a whole 10 minutes away ^^)

That turned into a very long post! I was thinking I’d only comment on a couple of projects, but most of them are slated to arrive in the next couple of months and as a result are all ones with a ‘recently posted update’ state! Can’t wait to have them all arrive as I can’t help thinking I’ll feel like it’s Christmas with every parcel.

Thanks for reading, and have a great day/week/month/year/decade! Cheers ^^

Link

So I don’t know what to post about today, so I figure the first thing that comes to mind is a great idea. As it happens I just glanced at the kickstarter page for 404 to see how it was doing, so that’s becoming the target of this post!

Best of luck to 3DTotalGames!

Kicktraq Chart for 404: Law Not Found

As I’m posting this, the project is sitting at £7.818, a not-insignificant amount of money! That’s nearly 80% and the project was posted on Monday. After hitting £5,000 on day one, things are settling into a slow but steady rise in pledges.

I’ve gotten remarkably far without staying anything about the game, so lets get that sorted. In 404, players are controlling robots on a spaceship who have been fitted with some shiny new chips to upgrade them to be better at their jobs. Unexpectedly, after receiving these new chips the robots have found their 3 laws missing, with 3 scrambled directives in their place, robots like to obey their directives and will try their best to made do!

The objective in the game is to fulfill your 3 directives before the other robots, before the ship completes its mission. These can be a wide variety of things, from ‘Explore Breathing’ to ‘Improvise Science’. These are achieved in amusing ways, for example to explore breathing, you need a human to finish it’s turn in space alive, which will require a spacesuit, things may not go your way though, so you may end up killing the human and needing to explore further!

As I touched on earlier, the game takes place in a spaceship. On a turn, players receive a hand of cards, which are essentially programs they can run to perform tasks, such as move, activate item, pick something up, etc. You choose 3 of these and then everyone carries them out simultaneously, taking everyone closer to their objectives, or haphazardly wrecking everyone’s plans with your attempts.

Alien Artifact = Awesome

A part of the spaceship and cards for the rooms.

There are also some autonomous agents on the ship – Humans, and a monkey – who follow a simple flow chart to perform actions, such as loading missiles…or fellow humans, to fire at enemy ships which might attack during the game. The monkey of course won’t do anything so potentially useful, and will run around the ship in search of banana’s instead!

Lastly of importance, are items, which are in the form of tokens in stacks around the ship. These can be things like spacesuits, tools or an ever important banana, and include humans (dead or alive!) as far as carrying them around is concerned, although pesky living ones will try to escape, so you might want to fix that.

All in all, I think it sounds like a hilarious game and I can’t wait to get my hands on it. I did get the opportunity to play-test it a while ago, but having missed a lot of the rules and it being an early version, I didn’t really get much from the experience, other than to see how much potential it has.

On top of all of that awesomeness, is the extremely attractive pledge levels. It only costs £28 to pick up a copy of 404, with free shipping to the US and EU, and a within reason £15 ask for elsewhere. Not something I find it easy to say no to!

So to finish up, go take a look, pledge for 404, and have fun gaming!

404: Law Not Found