While the English-speaking world is a big portion of the gaming world, it's not all of it, and many games are released in languages other than English. So, when you want to get your game on and you only speak English, you're out of luck, right? Well, if you're looking to get Lex Arcana and Brancalonia, you've been saved by Ares Games.
From the article:
Ares Games announces new distribution partnerships with two Italian RPG publishers Quality Games and Acheron Books, to bring their successfully crowdfunded roleplaying games “Lex Arcana” and “Brancalonia” to a broader audience in the US and other English-language markets.
Lex Arcana, published by Quality Games, is an alternate history roleplaying game set in a roman empire which did not fall, thanks to the use of magic. The game is the second edition of the most famous Italian RPG of the 90’s, co-designed by Marco Maggi and Francesco Nepitello, designers of The One Ring RPG and Zombicide RPG. It was successfully launched on Kickstarter in October 2018 and it is now shipping to backers.
Brancalonia, by Acheron Books, is an innovative “spaghetti fantasy” RPG setting for 5th Edition, recently funded on Kickstarter and expected to deliver to backers in January 2021, with a unique blend of pop-culture and historical references, creating a roguish world of high adventure.
Ares will distribute these games and their supplements after backers’ fulfillment will be completed.
With different companies doing their best to reopen while still keeping their workers safe during the pandemic, several have started to be able to announce new releases. In this case, it's Ares Games who's happy to say that their upcoming releases for both King & Assassins Deluxe Edition and Hard City will be available in just a couple weeks, hitting store shelves June 5th.
From the article:
King & Assassins: Deluxe Edition is a refreshed and streamlined edition of the asymmetrical fantasy game of strategy and deception for two players, designed by Lukasz Wosniak and originally published in 2013. This new version features a bigger box, larger, double-sided board with new, stunning artwork of a medieval city, and a set of 23 masterfully sculpted miniatures in 15 varieties.
Hard City is a “one vs All” game in which one player takes the role of the evil mastermind Doctor Zero, while all the other players become brave Officers of the Hard City Police Department. The game also include rules for solo play. The game is divided into episodes that form a full story of a struggle between the officers and the evil mastermind, with a mechanism of cutscenes and characters representing a whole array of pop culture archetypes, known to every movie geek.
Can't get out to your friend's place to get a game in? Local shop closed for the pandemic? Still wanting to get some gaming in while you're all alone? Ares Games is here to help. They've added solo play for WWI Wings of Glory via the app for the game. Just head over and get that and you'll have your flying circus up in the air in no time.
From the announcement:
In this quarantine time, the apps for playing tabletop games in solo mode at home are a great resource. Following the WW2 Wings of Glory option reported last week, we found out a WW1 Wings of Glory app: the WoG Solo System, available both for Android and iOS devices, was designed by an Italian player, Danjel Ricci, to make it faster and easier to play WW1 Wings of Glory using Solo Rules made by the players' community - Wings of Glory Aerodrome.
The WoG Solo System allows to add any number of AI planes to the fight and solve their maneuvers easily, without having to check the charts or roll the dice. Every plane can have a different set of rules, so it's possible to play with both clumsy and smart AI pilots in the same game. Also, a damage counter on each plane will come in handy to keep the gaming area clear from unnecessary cards. The app was designed in 2015, but it's updated to keep compatible with new system versions and device resolutions, and to support all the range of airplanes released in the game.
I only speak/read English. I know. It's terrible. We live in a globally-connected world. Being able to speak/read multiple languages should be standard. But alas. So, that means I miss out on a lot of games that aren't in a language I know (again, being the one). Thankfully, there's companies out there looking to professionally translate games. In this case, we're talking about Ares Games bringing out an English version of Last Aurora.
From the announcement:
Ares Games will publish the English Edition of Last Aurora, a competitive post-apocalyptic game for 1-4 players set in a frozen, desolate wasteland. Designed by Mauro Chiabotto and developed by Pendragon Game Studio, Last Aurora was successfully funded on Kickstarter last year, and it‘s expected to release in retail this Summer, following the Kickstarter fulfillment.
In Last Aurora, the radioactive dust of the war has transformed the world in a frozen, desolate wasteland. Each player becomes a leader of a survivors' crew trying to reach the last icebreaker ship, Aurora, facing several challenges: make difficult ethical choices, overcome obstacles, fight unique and fearsome enemies.
Players have to manage their crews to gather resources, recruit survivors, improve their vehicle, and fight their enemies as they race to reach the ship before it's too late. The game is structured in six rounds, sub-divided into 5 phases. Every player has a board to manage his convoy and resources, combining his truck and devices, managing the survivors available to take actions and make them recover from their efforts.
Last Aurora will release alongside its first expansion, Project Athena. Players have lost the Aurora and have to cross a new map fighting with Athena, the A.I. that decided to rebel against her creators activating the nuclear missile launch sequence, that led to the complete devastation of the planet, triggering the glaciation that today afflicts the few survivors. The expansion introduces new cards and mechanics, together with new types of survivor and enemy, a new resource (Nuclear battery), Energy weapons and the Alert mechanic.
As with most companies, there have been changes over at Ares Games based on the COVID-19 outbreak. They've posted up an article talking about what they're doing this time and what products will be affected as well as a hopeful timeline of when they'll be able to start sending things back out again.
From the announcement:
Due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Ares Games informs of the closing of its Italian office and North American warehouse. The entire Ares’ team is working from home, and still receiving and collecting customers' requests to be fulfilled at a later date.
As of March, 24th, Ares Games’ USA logistic and fulfillment partner, Alliance, announced that its warehouses will stop operations, closing until further notice. Quoting from the announcement of Alliance's owner Steve Geppi:
"Product distributed by Alliance has been shipping from our Fort Wayne, IN and Austin, TX warehouses. Both are closing at the end of the day on Tuesday, March 24th, in the interest of employee safety and to comply with direction from local governments. Any orders not shipped by that time will not be processed until further notice. Your dedicated sales team will still be working remotely and will help you with any orders you’d like to place today or questions you may have."
Alliance is Ares’ major logistics partner and services all our non-European customers from its Fort Wayne, Indiana warehouse. For Ares Games, this announcement means we will not be able to ship products to our customers, or service customer care requests, until the emergency is over and the warehouse reopens.
Both new products and restocks will not ship until further notice. Existing inventory can still be ordered by our retail customers from distributors who are still open, as long as their stock lasts.
The un-life of a vampire can be rough. You spend a century comfy in your castles until the townsfolk come with torches and pitchforks, driving you from your home. So you roam, looking for a new place to hang our hat. Perhaps this city would work, but you can't just move in and take over at once. That would bring too much suspicion and the gaze of the Inquisition. Instead, you must work slowly and stealthily. Of course, you do have time on your hand. That's what you'll be doing in Masters of the Night, a new cooperative vampire board game that's up on Kickstarter now.
From the campaign:
Woken by the rattling of the train, you realize you have arrived at a new place, a place destined to be either a haven or a final grave for your family. Your current state is unsightly at best—forced to hide in a luggage car, confined within boxes full of dirt. You have all spent far too much time dreaming; years, perhaps decades. It is finally time to wake from your slumber and take matters back into your hands.
How has the world order changed during your absence? The Veil that covers the truth of your existence from the mortals—is it still strong? Do the agents of the Inquisition still scour the world for you? And more importantly, will this city succumb to your will? First there will be the struggle for survival, then for power and, finally, for dominance.
History exiled you from castles and crypts long ago. In this new century, you are wanderers, endlessly searching for a new home, new servants and fresh, fervid blood.
Masters of the Night is a solitaire or cooperative game - one to five players play on the same side and will either win or lose together. You play as members of a vampire clan slowly regaining their former power. With the help of your minions, you will fight against the agents of the Inquisition, cast fear into the hearts of the people with your hunts, and shape dread sigils in different city districts, all in preparation for the grand Blood Moon ritual that will confirm your grasp on the city and its fate. But beware, the longer you prepare for the ritual, the harder it will be to complete it. Your enemies are searching for you constantly and when they find you, even vampire magic may not stop them.
The campaign's about 2/3 of the way to its goal with 21 days to go.
Masters of the Night is a new vampire board game coming to Kickstarter at the start of next month. To make sure you have the 411 about it, they've started posting some previews of the characters. In this instance, we have Mila. Have yourselves a look.
From the preview:
Darkness sometimes lures you in through otherworldy beauty and charm....
Most vampires can fascinate mortals, but the seductive abilities of Mila go beyond what most of her brethren can do.
Her Temptation blood ability, and the Aura of Adoration she emanates when her power grows, are able to turn even her most fanatic enemies into docile minions... ready to do her bidding, ready to die or lose themselves forever, for the promise of her lethal kiss...
Masters of the Night will be on Kickstarter January, 14th - save the date and follow our page so you don't miss the launch
For some people, it's never the wrong time of year for vampires. If you're one of those people, Masters of the Night might just be the game for you. Players take on the role of members of a vampire family that just moved to a new city. They must work together to complete a ritual that will secure their control of the city, all while fighting against sinister agents looking to do them in. Ares Games will be bringing this new game to Kickstarter at the start of next year.
From the announcement:
Ares Games announces a new crowdfunding campaign to fund the fully cooperative/solo game (1 to 5 players) Masters of the Night, in partnership with Igrology - the Russian design studio of the 4X board game Master of the Galaxy and the card game Nightmarium. The project will launch on Kickstarter on January 14th, 2020, ending on January, 30th.
In Masters of the Night, players are members of a Vampire family, just arrived after a long journey in a new, unfamiliar city, challenged to survive and establish their rule, despite mysterious Agents trying to stop them.
With the help of minions, loyal servants of the Vampire family, each player will fight against the agents of the Inquisition, cast fear into the hearts of the people with their hunts, and shape dread sigils in different city districts, all in preparation of the grand Blood Moon ritual, that will confirm their rule on the city and seal its fate. But the players must not waste time to prepare for the ritual, as their enemies will be searching for them constantly and even vampire magic may not stop them if the “veil” hiding them should drop.
Masters of the Night is played over a modular board composed of nine district tiles, representing the city where the family of vampires is trying to establish its rule. There are six playable vampires, each of them with specific abilities.
Regardless of the number of players, two to five vampires can be used in a game. A single player can control more than one vampire – playing solo or with other players.
A game can be the best game ever created, but if it can't get into the hands of players, what good is it? That's why distribution is such a big deal. And if you are an English-speaker and you've been wanting to get some of Hexy Studios' games, you'll want to turn an eye towards Ares Games, as they've entered into a distribution partnership.
From the announcement:
Ares Games and Polish Hexy Studio announce a partnership to distribute the English edition of Hexy Studio’s games in the United States and non-European countries. The first games to launch will be the tactical adventure game Hard City and game of pretense and deceit Slyville, due to release in retail in Spring 2020 (after the fulfillment of Hard City’s Kickstarter rewards).
Having a sale on Black Friday has been a tradition that's been around for quite some time. But not everyone has always participated. But hey, it seems to be doing well for people, and Ares Games wanted to get in on the fun. As such, they're holding their first ever Black Friday sale over in their webshop now. Some items are up to 80% off.
From the announcement:
Ares Games' first ever Black Friday sale! Great boardgames, up to 80% discount, limited time... don't miss this chance!
Ares Games has a new Dungeonology board game coming out tomorrow. Players will head around to different civilizations, looking to study their histories. However, groups aren't always that thrilled with outsiders coming in and poking around everywhere. It's a fine balancing act, but if the players want to get the best score, they'll need to make it work.
From the website:
Dungeonology: The Expedition, the atypical dungeon crawler where the characters are scholars challenged to submit the best thesis on a mysterious Civilization in a remote Dungeon to become the new professor of University of Rocca Civetta, is now shipping to distributors and will start to hit the stores in the US on November 20th. The game releases alongside its first expansion, Erasmus, and the Custom Sleeves accessory.
Set in the Renaissance world of Nova Aetas, Dungeonology will lead players to the discovery of different Civilizations in order to learn their histories and customs, being careful as the locals will not always be happy with the intrusion. The base game, Dungeonology: The Expedition, contains four heroes and all the material needed to face the Laetus dungeon that develops on 19 tiles.
Psst. Hey... Gen Con is this week. Pass it along.
Ares Games will be there. And they're going to be there big and in style. They have a lot going on, including Tripods & Triplaes, Battlestar Galactica - Starship Battles, WW2 Quartermaster General Second Edition, and much, much more. Have yourselves a look-see.
From the announcement:
Ares Games will exhibit at Gen Con 2019 (Booth #341, August 1-4 in Indianapolis) and will release the long awaited Tripods & Triplanes game. At the show, Ares will also pre-release the second wave of Battlestar Galactica – Starship Battles spaceships, introducing the Colonial Raptor and the Cylon Heavy Raider. The upcoming games WW2 Quartermaster General Second Edition and Waste Knights will be previewed at the Ares’ booth.
Ares’ booth will also host, on Friday, August 2nd, the third “jump” of the Battlestar Galactica Starship Battles - The 33 Campaign, a series of massive events for the combat miniature game based on the Battlestar Galactica™ TV series.
All recent releases will be available at GenCon, such as the horror-themed card games Nightmarium Revised Edition and Monsters vs. Heroes volume 2: Cthulhu Mythos, new expansions for Sword & Sorcery - including the last campaign set, Vastaryous’ Lair, and new WW1 Wings of Glory Airplane Packs.
At the Ares Games’ booth, visitors will find several exclusive promo items offered together with purchases at the show, including the promo card “Starbuck” with the Battlestar Galactica – Starship Battles Starter Set, the mini-expansion “TV Set" for This War of Mine: the Board Game, the alternate “Frodo” card for Hunt for the Ring, “Treebeard” promotional mini-expansion for War of the Ring Second Edition and Lords of Middle-earth, “Tidings not Burdens” promo for Warriors of Middle-earth, and many others.
In many ways, WWII was just WWI - 2nd Edition. So, it seems only fitting that games based on WWII would also have second editions. In this case, it's Quartermaster General WW2. Ares Games and Griggling Games are coming together to bring you an updated version of this advanced tactical game.
From the announcement:
Ares announces an agreement with Griggling Games to publish worldwide the second edition of Quartermaster General WW2, a fast-paced strategy game created by Ian Brody and first released in 2015, with nearly 10,000 copies sold in English, French, and Russian. The new edition is planned to release in the second half of 2019.
In Quartermaster General WW2, players take command of the major powers of the Second World War, and supply is crucial to keep their armies and navies fighting. They are challenged to destroy enemies’ supply lines to lead them to surrender. The game is suited for 2 to 6 players, playing one or more countries on either the Axis or Allied team. Each major power has a unique set of strikingly illustrated cards with which to muster their forces, represented by wooden army and navy pieces. The game is simple to learn and quick to setup - but difficult to master, and each game plays differently, ensuring replayability.
Missing out on a Kickstarter is no fun. No exclusives. No special pricing. It's a bummer. Thankfully, there's Late Pledge times for many campaigns. And that's what we've got here. Ares Games has opened up their Late Pledges for Sword & Sorcery: Ancient Chronicles. Don't miss this last chance to get in on all the good stuff.
From the website:
Thank you for supporting Sword & Sorcery: Ancient Chronicles. Using this Pledge Manager, you will be able to select your rewards and provide us with the essential information to ship them. Late pledges are also possible, if you missed our project on Kickstarter.
First, select your Standard Pledge Rewards.
If you are a Kickstarter Backer: select Legendary Hero Pledge (KS Backers Only) as your starting point.
If you did not take part in our Kickstarter: you can pledge now, by choosing Legendary Hero Pledge (Late Pledge) as your starting point!
In either case, you can add multiple Legendary Hero Pledges, and include the add-ons of your choice listed in this page, before checking out. Do not add items from other sections of our e-commerce system!
Long-time readers will know that I love it when a company posts their rulebooks online so you can check them out before buying them. Or, even if you've been a player for a while, you can have a pdf version on your portable device to reference when you don't have the book handy. Well, Ares Games has posted the rulebook for Tripods & Triplanes up online so you can check it out.
From the announcement:
The complete rules of Wings of Glory - Tripods & Triplanes are now available for download. Tripods & Triplanes is a new stand-alone game that brings the Martian invasion described by H.G. Wells in his novel ‘The War of the Worlds’ to the Wings of Glory game, merging it with the historical background of the Great War.
Whole new space wars are breaking out on tabletops all over. Folks are heading out to get the Battlestar Galactica - Starship Battles game, now available from Ares Games. Will you choose to defend humanity, or destroy it?
From the announcement:
In Battlestar Galactica – Starship Battles, players take control of Colonial and Cylon spaceships and face each other in furious dogfights and daring missions, piloting beautiful pre-assembled and pre-painted miniatures, faithfully representing the spaceships from both the Re-imagined and Classic versions of the shows. The game uses a unique game system, inspired by its “glorious” predecessors - Wings of Glory and Sails of Glory, but at the same time introducing many new features, to represent the cinematic, yet realistic space battles of the show
This Battlestar Galactica — Starship Battles Starter Set is a complete game, featuring four ready–to–play miniatures - two Colonial Vipers Mk. II (including Apollo’s Viper and his pilot card) and two Cylon Raiders, along with their special control panels, playing bases and maneuver decks. Also included are combat rulers, spaceship cards, pilot cards, talent and flaw cards, asteroid and planetoid templates, and everything else needed to start to play.
Players will be able to add more spaceships to their games with additional Starter Sets or Spaceship Packs. The first Spaceship Packs, featuring different versions of Vipers and Raiders, and a set of additional control panels are due to release on February 2019, and more will follow along next year. More information about what is coming in the game line will be unveiled soon. Stay tuned!
The next game in the legendary Sword & Sorcery line is up on Kickstarter. Ares Games has launched their campaign for Ancient Chronicles. This new stand-alone game for 1-5 players takes players into events that happened before the Immortal Souls game. However, while the game is stand-alone, it's also 100% compatible with other Sword & Sorcery games. So, if you've got a particular hero you love to use or a villain you love to slay, you can port them right on over.
From the campaign:
Sword & Sorcery: Ancient Chronicles is a fully cooperative fantasy board game where one to five players control legendary Heroes with unique powers. Recalled from the dead and made immortal by the will of the Three Gods, the Heroes embark on a quest to destroy false and corrupted deities worshipped across the land.
Sword & Sorcery: Ancient Chronicles is designed by Gremlin Project (Galaxy Defenders, Sword & Sorcery: Immortal Souls) and manufactured and distributed by Ares Games (Wings of Glory, Sails of Glory, War of the Ring, Battlestar Galactica Starship Battles).
After the world-wide success of our first season, Sword & Sorcery: Immortal Souls - acclaimed by many as the best cooperative dungeon-crawler on the market - we are joining forces again to bring the game system to the next level, with new features enhancing the storytelling and broadening the scope of your adventures, a greater variety of enemies, and more possibilities for your Heroes.
Ancient Chronicles is the second season of the saga. Its storyline is a prequel to the adventures re-enacted in Immortal Souls. It is a stand-alone product - you do not need Immortal Souls to play. However, it remains completely compatible, so all available heroes and enemies of the first season can be integrated into Ancient Chronicles - and viceversa - to further enhance gameplay.
In Ancient Chronicles, you will once again find the rich gameplay, unique A.I system, and excellent quality components already appreciated by thousands of gamers in Immortal Souls, to enjoy many, many hours of high adventure and heroic quests.
The campaign is already over its funding goal and heading through stretch goals. It's got another 13 days left to go on Kickstarter.
Ares Games is pleased to announce a new game in the Sword & Sorcery line of cooperative fantasy board games. It's called Ancient Chronicles and it's a new "expanshalone." That is to say, it is it's own stand-alone game, but it's also 100% compatible with Immortal Souls. So if you've got that one, you can bring heroes and gear over. Or, if you're new, you can use this as a new jumping-on point for the series.
From the announcement:
Ares Games and Gremlin Project unveil the dates of the Kickstarter campaign to fund a completely new cycle of the Sword & Sorcery game: “Ancient Chronicles” will launch on November 5th, ending on November 21th.
“Ancient Chronicles” will be a new starting point to the acclaimed cooperative dungeon-crawler, suitable both for newcomers and for players who are already playing the Immortal Souls campaign, allowing them to enter the world of Sword & Sorcery again, in a campaign set in the distant past of the events narrated in the previous campaign.
“Ancient Chronicles” will be fully compatible with “Immortal Souls” in terms of gameplay, allowing to crossover heroes and monsters from one campaign to another. Gameplay will remain familiar, but the new cycle will also introduce many interesting new elements to the setting, expanding both the narrative engine and the mechanics, without making the game more complex.
From the announcement:
Ares Games will present for the first time at Gen Con 2018 (Booth #335, August 2-5, Indianapolis) a preview of the upcoming Battlestar Galactica – Starship Battles, miniature game. Based on the Battlestar Galactica™ TV series, the game is scheduled to be available at the end of 2018. At the show, visitors will also be able to play with the upcoming Wings of Glory – Tripods & Triplanes.
In addition to these previews, new games also release at the show: the board game of galactic conquest Master of the Galaxy and new expansions for the Sword & Sorcery line – the Hero Packs Krogham and Samyria and the third campaign set, Darkness Falls.
Players will also have a chance to take a look at the new expansion for This War of Mine: the Board Game – Tales from the Ruined City (scheduled to release in November 2018), and to play recent releases with the assistance of the Ares demo team: the epic strategy game Hannibal & Hamilcar: Rome vs Carthage; the thrilling card game Monsters vs. Heroes – Victorian Nightmares; two new games published by Pendragon and exclusively distributed in North America by Ares – Hexemonia and Waterloo: Enemy Mistakes.
At Ares’ booth, visitors will find several exclusive promo items offered together with purchases at the booth, including the alternate “Frodo” promo card for Hunt for the Ring, the mini-expansion “TV Set" for This War of Mine: the Board Game, the promo pack “Chaos in Hadria" for Age of Thieves, the promo cards “Necronomicon” and "H.P. Lovecraft" for Stay Away, and “Bubi” for Last Friday.
From the announcement:
Ares Games announces an agreement with game designers Martyn Oliver and Colin Thornton to publish a renewed, updated edition of “City of Chaos”, a break through board game originally published in 1996 and one of the first board games to use extensive storytelling in their gameplay. The new edition is planned to release in the second half of 2019.
In “City of Chaos - The Fantasy Board Game”, players explore the twisting, smog-filled streets of Byronitar, the "city of Chaos". The city and its inhabitants are in the grip of strange, entropic forces threatening to rip the city apart. Players must uncover the clues which will lead them to the sources of Chaos, to restore order to the city.
Byronitar is a richly detailed setting which offers an immersive experience to players. The game uses a random plot and world generator which ensures that no two games are ever alike and combines features such as tile-laying to create the game board, random events, combat, and role playing. Players can improve their characters by enrolling in many strange guilds, like The Somatologists (pacifists and healers) or The Pneumologist (use your breath as a physical force). The eccentric atmosphere of Byronitar is generated from 'The Tome of Chaos' with hundreds of unique paragraphs and interactions. The players must explore the city, uncover its locations and interact with its unusual denizens to discover one of the multiple sources of the chaos plaguing the streets. Byronitar is unlike any other place you have experienced.
“City of Chaos is an imaginative game, with a unique setting and an innovative use of storytelling. It was groundbreaking when It was first published, and more than 20 years later, it still has a cult following. We are very excited to bring it back to the market with a new edition, improved and updated, as we feel it can still be a strong addition to today’s gaming scene”, said Roberto Di Meglio, Director of R&D of Ares Games.
“We are so excited with the agreement with the team at Ares Games, an exceptional, quality publisher. Most of all we'd like to thank the dedicated players on BoardgameGeek that kept the game alive. Now we're off for a wild dance through the streets with the Lord of Demons, join us soon!”, declared the game’s authors, Martyn Oliver and Colin Thornton.
So get your $2 bet ready, it’s time for another TGN Review. This time, it’s Divinity Derby.
I want to note that I was sent the retailer version of the game. Some of you might’ve gotten the Kickstarter variant. So your edition might vary slightly from mine in terms of components.
In the game, players take on the role of deities, seated around the track, ready to watch a set of races between mythological creatures. The setup begins with each player choosing a deity to represent and taking the corresponding bet cards, as well Power of the Gods cards (though those are only used in the advanced game), and the matching token. The board is set in the middle of the table so everyone can see it. The card holders are placed between each player, so that the two players can see what cards are on it. Shuffle together the Movement cards and deal out a certain number (depending on the amount of players) to each card holder. This means that players will get to see only a certain portion of the Movement cards available, and only see half the cards that their opponent can see. The Creature tokens are placed on the board in their appropriate spot. You will only use a certain amount of them, also based on the number of players in the game. Take the four Zeus’ Judgement cards and put them on the board corresponding to the first race. Place the appropriate base marker on the bottom of the different Creatures and place them all on the starting space on the board. Determine the first player by deciding who last saw a flying creature, and you’re all set to go.
Looking Over the Race Form
So, starting out, we should talk about the components for the game. There’s the game board, a punch-board of tokens, a big stack of cards, the card holders, and the Creature miniatures. The board is a fairly standard game board. Bright colors, which is nice. The punch-boards all punched cleanly. No tearing on the paper when taking the various tokens off. Always happy to see that. The cards are “mini-card” size (think of something like Zombicide equipment cards or upgrade cards for X-Wing) and have a good feel to them and a good “snap” when flicked. The card holders are plastic and not too flexible. So, hopefully, they shouldn’t break. They’re not very wide, so cards will be overlapping a bit, but with how the information is printed on the cards, that’s not a problem. Last are the Creature miniatures. They feel like PVC and there are definitely some mold lines on them. One note is that they’re very two dimensional. Almost all the Creatures have their wings flat together, held straight out from their back. These, I feel, is a bit of a weak point in terms of production. While not a real “miniatures board game” really, the figures are there to give some 3D to what could very easily be done via tokens (you even get Creature tokens to use in the game. One set could simply have a different color ring and be used on the board). So, a bit of a letdown there.
Place your bets! Place your bets!
Players will score points in the game by successfully guessing what Creatures will finish in what places during three races. This is done by using the Bet cards that they have. Starting with the first player, everyone will take one of their Bet cards, which lists certain Places (or Disqualified) on it. The different places means a player think that a certain Creature will end the race in that spot. Using the information available via the Movement cards visible to them, the first player will take one of their Bet cards and place it, face down, on the table. They’ll then take one of the Creature tokens and place it on the back of the card. This means that they think that Creature will end in one of the places on the card’s front. Every player makes a first bet that way and then does it again. A player can only bet on each Creature once (so, for example, you can’t play two cards and have them both be for the dragon). Once everyone’s placed their 2nd bet, the race is ready to begin.
Aaaaand, they’re off!
The first player will be take one card from the card holder from their left and one from their right (you can’t take both from the same card holder). These Movement cards will then be used to move the Creatures on the board. The top number on the card is the Fast Movement number. The other is the Slow Movement number. Each card is used for a specific Creature, as shown on the card (so, no moving the Pegasus with the Phoenix’s card). From there, it’s simply moving the Creature a number of spaces equal to the number on the card. Obviously, Fast Movement cards are faster than Slow Movement. Many of those are 0. It should be noted that, starting out, every Creature’s deck is identical. Where it gets interesting is that you’re not guaranteed to use every Movement card for a particular creature each race. When a Movement card is played, it is discarded.
There’s also the Dirty Tricks cards. These cards have a Bonus Movement number on them, along with both Fast and Slow Movement numbers. You don’t have to use the Bonus Movement if you don’t want (you can just play the card regularly). However, you can add to the Creature’s Fast Movement value by using it (Dirty Tricks cards must be used first on a turn. So you can’t play two Dirty Tricks cards on the same turn. At least, not as Dirty Tricks). However, the gods aren’t fond of cheaters. Instead of being discarded, Dirty Tricks cards (only when used for their Dirty Tricks bonus) go onto the Zeus’ Judgement deck, started at the beginning of the race.
Come on, Tinfoil! Deity needs a new pair of shoes!
Halfway through the race, once the first Creature has made it past the mid-race line (which is different depending on the number of players), a 3rd round of betting takes place. First, the First Player token moves to the player to the left of the one that just moved the Creature across the mid-race line (a small matter, but worth pointing out, as it can easily be forgotten). Then, the bets are placed. This works exactly like the first two, with players selecting one of their Bet cards and placing it, face down, in front of them with a Creature token on it.
It’s down to the wire!
Once the last bets are placed, play goes back to the movement style. Players will use the now-dwindling cards on the card holders to continue moving Creatures. As they pass the finish line, they will be placed in the ranking section. If players run out of cards before a Creature makes it across, they’ll be placed in the ranking in proportion to how they are still on the board.
And the winner is…
You might think that it’s “The first one over the finish line wins,” but it’s not. You still have that Zeus’ Judgement to deal with. This deck is shuffled, including all the cards that had been used as Dirty Tricks. Then, two cards are drawn. If they’re Zeus’ Protection cards, nothing happens. But, if they’re a Creature card, that Creature is disqualified and moved to the end of the ranking. Once that’s done, the actual final ranking can be determined. Simply slide up the remaining Creatures if any spaces are created by the disqualified Creatures leaving.
Collect your winnings.
Now that players know the final ranking of the Creatures, the Bet cards are revealed. Bets that were correct are placed under a player’s God token. If they were wrong, that card is placed in the Zeus’ Judgement space (where the Dirty Tricks cards had been for that race). Each Bet card has a Victory Point total on it. A player’s total Victory Points is the total on all the Bet cards under their God token.
Getting ready for the next heat.
Divinity Derby is played over 3 races. For the 2nd race, the Movement cards are collected, shuffled, and distributed as before. Players place Bets like before, but they must pick from their remaining Bet cards. The Zeus’ Judgement cards are placed on the 2nd race space. Other than that, the race works exactly the same.
For the 3rd race, there’s some small changes. No Zeus’ Protection cards are used. So if Dirty Tricks are played, someone’s getting DQ’ed. But other than that, the race works the same as the previous two.
Count the final winnings
After the 3rd race is completed and Bets are checked, the player with the highest Victory Point total is the winner.
Switching Things Up
The game includes several variants that you can use, if you choose. For example, there’s those Power of the Gods cards I’d mentioned before. Each one of those has its own special trigger and special power it does when played. They’re all unique, and each god has its own sort of “theme” for how they play. These also work in conjunction with the Fate tokens. They are placed out onto the board at the start of the race and each has a special Power of the Gods card associated with it. So, when a Creature lands on the corresponding space, a player can play their special card then.
Another alternate rule is that Zeus can slowly get sober as the races go on. For the 2nd and 3rd race, instead of using the Zeus’ Protection cards as usual, players use only the ones left over from the previous race. So, since the game starts with 4, if 1 had been drawn in the first race, there would only be 3 left for the 2nd.
As a fan of bluffing and hidden information games, I am a fan of several of the mechanics in Divinity Derby. I like the idea of sharing some information with your opponents, in the form of the shared card holders, but only sharing so much. And, obviously, there’s whatever you put down in Bet cards at the start. Sure, you’re trying to get a certain Creature across the line, but using so many Dirty Tricks, are you trying to actually get them disqualified or just in the winner’s circle? You won’t know until the end.
With all the hidden information, it can be rough to form a winning strategy, though. You sort of have to rely a bit on your opponents to help your Creatures along. Good thing most of the Bet cards have a pretty wide number of places a Creature can end up to still get you points. The power of the Gods cards also help, as with so many races going on per game, it can feel a bit “samey” unless there’s a touch more thrown in, even with all the bluffing. One thing that happens apparently a lot is that you’ll run out of Movement cards before any Creature has crossed the finish line. We had entire games where nobody actually took the checkered flag. We simply ran out of cards and nobody was there yet. So we just had to use the farthest-along Creature as the winner. We double-checked the rulebook to make sure we were using the right number of Movement cards (since it varies by player count). It just really seemed odd that no Creatures would actually finish the race.
If you want to get your own arena and see which of these creatures is the fastest, can pick up your copy of Divinity Derby from your LGS today.
But while I wait for this color to dry, lets get you the reviews I know you all so desperately desire.
This week, we have articles on: Alphas Volume #1, Lucky's Misadventures, Act of Treason, Wildcatters, Konja, Hero Realms: Ruin of Thandar, Hunt for the Ring, Decrypto, Minute Realms, Civilization: New Dawn, and Star Trek Adventures.
Alphas Volume #1 Review
Lucky's Misadventures Review
Act of Treason Review
Board Game Quest:
Each turn in Wildcatters, players will have the option to add infrastructure to the map as well as start drilling for and transporting oil. There are effectively two different currencies in the game: workers and shares. Workers are used to build trains, oil derricks, ships, and refineries. They are also used to initiate the drilling process and to transport oil from the fields to the harbor. However, it is unlikely you will be able to create all the pieces needed in each area you want to work, so you will often be using the trains and ships owned by other players. In doing so, you must pay them shares in your company.
The goal in Konja is to be the first player to reach 21 points. Each turn is played out over three phases:
Ancestor: The active shaman places an idol on an available ancestor tile. The player then receives a favor from that tile. Then, both shamans receive the blessing from that tile. Blessings are bonus actions that consist of gaining resources, relics, spells and victory points. The favors are usually a more powerful bonus tacked on to the matching blessing action.
Bones: The active wizard rolls 5 green dice and 2 action dice. They may then uses spells and Artifact cards to try and manipulate the results. Spells must be paid for with resource tokens, while artifacts are “exhausted” or require an action die to activate. The player is aiming for sets, runs, and high numbers on their dice roll.
Collection: In the collection phase, your opponent will have a chance to attack your results using a red die. Afterwards, the active wizard will exchange their dice results to gain resource tokens or victory points, depending on their results.
Afterwards, the next player takes their turn. Play continues until one player hits 21 points and summons the great storm.
Hero Realms: Ruin of Thandar Expansion Review
The expansion comes with 144 cards divided up into a few areas. Each character (you have the character packs, right?) has a new set of skill and ability cards, along with a few treasures. These are how they “level up” during the campaign. Note: They will be replacing skills/abilities with better versions, not adding more to their repertoire.
Hunt for the Ring Review
After setup is complete, a game of Hunt for the Ring moves through two day phases and one night phase for a round of play. Each day phase grants a turn to each player, while the night phase grants extra movement and hunting options to the Ringwraith player.
During a turn for Frodo’s company, they make a hidden move using a sheet of paper behind a screen (starting from one of three random locations). Then, the player chooses to move space by space through numbered locations or through “dot” spaces between them. The Ringwraith players will know that Frodo’s company will move a single space or take a double move, but, of course, not necessarily the exact location.
Decrypto is a team clue-giving/deduction game for three to eight players. Each team works together to encrypt messages to their teammates without being intercepted by the opposing team. The first team to intercept two codes wins (or the first team to incorrectly guess their own code twice loses).
Minute Realms Review
Minute Realms is a card-drafting/city-building game for two to five players. Players draft cards over eight rounds to generate points and protect against barbarian invasion. The player with the most points after eight rounds is the winner.
Sid Meier's Civilization: A New Dawn Review
Civilization: New Dawn is a civilization-building game that plays in 90 minutes or less. Up to 4 players compete to complete 3 agendas before anyone else in order to claim victory.
Star Trek Adventures Review
Any Grammar Nazi out there will happily tell you...sorry, tell you happily... that Star Trek’s famous line “To Boldy Go..” should in fact read “To Go, Boldly…” as one should never split one’s infinitives. It can be a tad painful.
Over the last few months I’ve been going, boldly or otherwise, to a fellow Trek nerd’s house to get stuck into the recent roleplaying game from M?diphiüs Entertainment with a few more of my regular gaming group to see what all the fuss is about. Paul, our GM, even offered to make some Tea, Earl Grey, hot. So, I shaved my head and made it so.
The version we feasted our eyes on was the full-blown super-duper turbo edition that came in a replica Borg cube, which was a wonder to behold, with a price tag to match. There is a lot in the box already, but there will be additional content forthcoming and there’s space in the cube for more rulebooks for you to assimilate. We’re just playing the core rulebook at the moment plus a few extras that our GM has dug up.
I'm sure a lot of you are probably traveling today, or perhaps hanging out with some non-gaming family. So, to take your mind off of things, here's your regular list of reviews I know you so desperately desire.
Today we've got: Guild Ball Blacksmith's Guild, Rail Raiders, Naruto Shippuden The Board Game, Zendo, Cottage Garden iOS, Meeple Circus, Gut Check, Mountains of Madness, Import/Export, Ticket to Ride Map Collection 6: France/Old West, Welcome to Centerville, Hunt for the Ring, and Master of Wills.
Battle Brush Studios:
Guild Ball Blacksmith's Guild
Guild Ball is roughly based on an odd little soccer variant called "Calcio storico" or "historical Florentine football" which is about kicking and punching people and looking dead 'ard with slitted pants on. Somewhere between the 54 lads kicking the snot out of each other there's also a ball on the field. Have a look, it's insane. I've watched a documentary about it a bunch of years ago and all I can say is that it's very impressive and very odd.
Learn to Play:
Rail Raiders Review
In this video I will teach you how to play including: Components, Setup, player turns, player actions, sample turns, end game conditions, and scoring I will also give you my thoughts and opinions on the game, and would love to hear yours.
Naruto Shippuden The Board Game Review
theMCGuiRE review takes a look at Naruto Shippuden the board game and its really fantastic in game play, use of mechanics and character interaction synergy! I think Yoka Games has really nailed it with this title and its fun every time. You basically get to work your way through the anime battling monsters, villains and familiars to fight the ultimate boss at the end. The outcome of every round in the game makes a difference for that final showdown and I love the build up to that final battle that makes of breaks the outcome of the overall game! If you come across this title - don't miss out on an excellent co-op experience.
Board Game Quest:
In Zendo, one player will act as the mediator, building a structure out of plastic parts that meets a very specific rule. There are pieces in three different shapes (blocks, wedges and pyramids) and three different colors (red, blue, and yellow). The rule may be something as simple as “must include at least 1 blue shape” or as complicated as “must contain one red shape on top of a blue shape.” You can even forego the included rule cards and make up your own rules if you feel the need.
Cottage Garden iOS Review
In general, players in Cottage Garden are scoring points when completing grids by placing tiles. On each turn, players will place multi-block tiles of flower designs onto one of two garden grid boards. Each garden grid has spaces which include flower pots or plant covers, which are worth points. By placing tiles that avoid overlapping the pots or plant covers, players can score for those items when the garden grid is eventually completely filled in.
Meeple Circus Review
A game of Meeple Circus is played over three rounds. Each round begins with a drafting phase as players select two tiles in turn. Each tile will show what components a player adds to their collection.
Gut Check Review
The rules for Gut Check are pretty straightforward. Each turn, players can take a few different actions based on the cards in their hand and what they have on their player board. The player board shows which healthy and unhealthy microbes, also known as pathogens, they have. Additionally, if a player has any infections, these cards live here. The main board mostly serves as a score track and organizer for cards.
Mountains of Madness Review
Despite the ominous name, Mountains of Madness is almost more of a party game than anything else.
Your goal is to escape from the Mountains of Madness while fighting off madness and injury. It’s a cooperative game, and everyone must work together if you hope to survive. In order to escape, you’ll need to explore the mountain and collect relics, then reach the mountain peak and escape safely.
Import/Export is a role-selection, hand management, tableau-building, multi-use card game for two to six players. Players are shipping magnates who are seeking to control the import/export market. The player with the most credits when the game ends wins.
Ticket to Ride Map Collection 6: France/Old West Review
This is a “Map Pack,” so you’ll need another full version of Ticket to Ride to Play. That could be the original TTR (USA) or TTR Europe. From those “full” games you’ll need to scavenge the trains, score markers, and train car cards. Everything else you need comes in this box.
Drive Thru Review:
Welcome to Centerville Review
Intro (00:00); game overview (01:50); final thoughts and review (22:06)
Hunt for the Ring Review
Intro (00:00); game overview (02:22); final thoughts and review (25:30)
Board to Death TV:
Master of Wills Review
Master of Wills can be played one-versus-one or two-versus-two. It’s all about moving the cards—you want to move as many points to your side of the board as possible while your opponent is trying to do the same for their side. Community cards are each assigned a value, and each card is represented by a character from one of the eight sectors of the Community. Moving those cards can trigger the basic movement of other cards on the board.
Today we have: Blood Red Skies Previews New Render, War of the Ring Now Available in Russian, and New Dark Elf Punisher Mini Available From Brother Vinni.
Blood Red Skies Previews New Render
Some more angles - looking great, these are the very first renders and somethings like the cockpit have already been modified
War of the Ring Now Available in Russian
WAR OF THE RING is finally available in Russian thanks to GaGa Games - and the first printing is sold out already! It will come back in 2018, as well as the Russian edition of our new game Hunt of the Ring.
New Dark Elf Punisher Mini Available From Brother Vinni