A new 7 Wonders, Star Wars news, Conan crosses over, and more.
It was a very Bruno Cathala sort of week with hints at three games from the designer in 2015. Cathala is known for modern classics such as Cyclades and Shadows Over Camelot. Well, he delivered some big news last week on his blog. It was all in French, but after a few Rosetta Stone sessions, I’m able to give you the scoop.
7 Wonders Prepares to Duel
Bruno Cathala is teaming up with 7 Wonders creator Antoine Bauza for a brand new two-player game 7 Wonders: Duel. You and another player are racing to construct seven wonders, as the name suggests.
Earning special powers from each one they complete. Building the most wonders and thus earning the most points isn’t the only path to victory. There’s also a military track, where you are progressing your army towards your opponent’s capital. Reach it and you win the game immediately. You can also win by acquiring six scientific symbols.
So – a cultural, military, or science victory? Sounds a bit like Civilization. I’m down.
7 Wonders: Duel is expected this year.
Five Tribes Expands to Six Tribes
Get out your marker and cross out the “five” in Five Tribes, because a sixth tribe is on the way. The amazing Bruno Cathala designed game from last year is getting an expansion, likely this year.
The unnamed expansion adds a sixth tribe, the Artisans, who craft great items. Among the items created are magic carpets and scimitars, all of which provide victory points.
The board for Five Tribes itself is expanding. Played with modular tiles, the expansion adds news tiles and is played on a larger 6 x 6 tile area. Some tiles have terrain on them that impact play. Including mountains, which cannot be passed. Since you drop Meeples on adjacent squares for your turn, this will cause some real complications, since it will force alternate routes.
This expansion is nearly finished, according to Cathala.
Abyss Expansion in the Works
The prettiest game of 2014, Abyss, is getting an expansion that may release this year.
If you don’t know much about Abyss, it’s a beautiful game set in an underwater world where you are trying to gain influence among other sea creatures. Money is made of white pearls and each sea race is assigned a different color, which is important because part of Abyss is set collection.
And that should be enough to go on so you can understand the significance of the updates coming to Abyss.
The expansion, which Cathala does not appear to be involved in developing, adds black pearls that give late-game penalties. There are also multicolored allies who can influence any faction as well as carcasses, described as "new places as dangerous as [they are] profitable."
No timetable was given for the Abyss expansion and from Cathala's blog entry, it sounds like it still has some work to be done on it. Here's hoping it arrives sooner than later.
Orcs Must Die Coming to a Tabletop Near You
The popular indie video game Orcs Must Die is soon to be not one, but two board games. Developed by Sandy Petersen, who recently released the minis galore game Cthulhu Wars, Orcs Must Die: Order and Orcs Must Die: Unchained are both castle defense games. Both are 1-4 player cooperative games.
In Order, you play as a human, laying out traps and prepping to battle three waves of monster hordes. You gain trophies for every kill, which can then be used to place more traps, buy new weapons and items, or upgrade your hero.
Unchained is the same gameplay, but now you are the orcs trying to defend your stronghold against human invaders.
Here’s where it gets interesting. If you have both games, you can combine them for a 2-8 player competitive match. Could be cool.
Orcs Must Die: The Board Game! is coming to Kickstarter soon.
Tiny Epic Kingdoms for Your Giant Phone
Gamelyn Games is one of the darlings of Kickstarter with its Tiny Epic games. Now they’re ready to get big. Well, as big as your iPad, at least.
Tiny Epic Kingdoms is coming to iOS later this year. The mobile version is being developed by GameSim, a team that’s worked on the online elements for Dragon Age: Inquisition, Mass Effect 3, and Madden.
Tiny Epic Kingdoms is a turn-based strategy game where you gather resources, expand your territory, and battle others. It’s a perfect fit for mobile gaming.
The announcement only chatted up iOS, so it’s unknown if an Android version is also in the works.
Star Realms Gambit Set Coming to App
Some great news for White Wizard Games, makers of the excellent deck builder Star Realms. The game itself has sold more than 250,000 copies. Pretty damn good for a game that isn’t able to take up much shelf space at a game store.
The app has seen more than 200,000 downloads. So people are clearly getting their fill of Star Realms.
And now those app owners will get a little more love. The Gambit set, which is already available for the physical version, just released for the Star Realms app. The add-on will cost you $3.99, which is pretty hefty if you consider the core app for the main game is only a dollar more.
The expansion comes with nine Gambit cards that provide all new player abilities. Plus it comes with all the promo ship and base cards given to Kickstarter backers. That’s a total of 25 new cards.
Probably more significant is the addition of two new campaign chapters, which add a total of 13 new missions.
Now, this might be a news report, but I ain’t no robot. I’ve played with the physical gambit set and I have to say, I did not like it. Getting new single player campaign missions is big. That’s a lot of content to keep playing and testing yourself in Star Realms. But as for the new Gambit abilities, I’m not a fan.
Conan/Blood Rage Crossover
Surprise, surprise, surprise.
Backers of the Conan Kickstarter, which netted $3.3 million, are getting a bonus gift. Monlith Games is creating a fifth scenario that will go to all backers and it specifically supports Cool Mini or Not’s new project Blood Rage.
The bonus scenario utilizes the miniatures in Blood Rage. Meaning that if you backed Conan and you now back Blood Rage, you’re going to be able to cross them over.
As a Conan fan, this is ludicrous. Conan mythos and Norse gods are not like peanut butter and chocolate. But as a fan of both games, this is pretty damn cool. And Monlith’s Kickstarter is already closed, so they seem to be doing this just because they’re fans of Blood Rage. Good on them. And good for backers of both games.
Star Wars Imperial Assault Skirmish Tournament Rules
A quick bit of news on Star Wars: Imperial Assault. Fantasy Flight’s combat tactics game now has an official FAQ. It doesn’t answer questions like, “How to Sarlaac Pits mate?” More like, “Give me better examples of how line of sight works.” If you’ve been playing Imperial Assault and feel stumped at all, give the FAQ a look over.
Fantasy Flight also released the official Imperial Assault Skirmish Tournament rules. Now, folks can get their competitive juices flowing with official tourneys. Here's the link.
Kickstarter Spotlight: Bottom of the 9th
And now it’s time for our Kickstarter spotlight of the week. And this week, we shine the spotlight on Bottom of the 9th by Dice Hate Me Games.
This micro game is perfectly timed for the start of the baseball season. You get in now as spring training is started and receive the game in time for the World Series in October.
Played in just 5-15 minutes, Bottom of the 9th is a card and dice game focused on that tense final moments of a ballgame. It’s ace pitcher versus star batter. The cards look like vintage baseball cards and the game comes with a board showing the field.
Each at-bat starts with the stare down, where the pitcher secretly chooses a direction and location for the pitch and the batter tries to guess what it is. Getting it right provides a power boost and can unlock special abilities for the batter. But, if he gets it wrong, the pitcher gets the advantage.
Then the pitcher rolls a die to see how well he hurled the ball. It could be a ball, a strike, or a pitch that paints the corner. Then the batter rolls the swing die to see if they make contact.
It sounds like a simple, cleanly designed, and thoroughly cool micro game. And you can try it out for yourself. Just head to the Bottom of the 9th Kickstarter page and look for the link to download the print and play version. Or just come to the Dog and Thimble show notes for a link.
Bottom of the 9th print and play files: Download it here.
That is your weekly news wrap. For all the latest tabletop news, be sure to follow Dog and Thimble on Twitter. And if you could, take a quick moment to rate our podcast on iTunes and write a review.
Join me next Monday for another wrap up of all the board game news fit to speak. Until then, go inside and play.