A coming Repos Production release is the second cooperation between Bruno Faidutti and Eric Lang. After HMS Dolores their new shared project is Secrets, a team spy game. Players secretly work for either the KGB or the CIA, and they seem to be so deep undercover they don’t always know themselves who they work for. On their turn, a player offers an agent card to another player. Either that player accepts it and scores it for himself, or he doesn’t and the offering player scores it. The spice of the game is that agent cards don’t have a plain point value, they have abilities that can award points, but they can also reveal information about someone’s team or, in some cases, make them change sides. Secrets looks like it will be a quick game with a healthy dose of chaos.
Why is it that every time you become the ruler of a country, or a fiefdom, in a boardgame, that’s only the start of your problems? The latest example of this: Feudalia, on Kickstarter by Abba Games. The king has rewarded you with a fiefdom, and now it’s your problem to manage your resources, get the right people to work for you and build a cathedral for the king. To get the people you use a classic deck building mechanism. Many people in four deck will produce different resources. But over the course of the game you will also attract Masters to work for you, cards in your deck with more elaborate abilities. Different scenarios set you up with different options of people to hire, and some of them also replace the cathedral with other goals to pursue. And if all this doesn’t have enough interaction for you, the Kickstarter does include the Military expansion with options to attack your opponents and steal their resources.
Mystic Vale expansion Vale of the Wild is out this week, and before that Alderac teases another new leader card. Make sure to see both pictures on Facebook, because upgraded Cyrilla seems crazy good.
We know the basics how to play Alone now, we know the setting and we know the disturbing creatures that will get in the Hero’s way. There’s not much left to say, so this week Horrible Games shows. The latest preview post is an interview with Alone‘s illustrator Steve Hamilton. Of course it includes a number of examples of his work, and you really should see them.
And another article about Alone: A day before the Kickstarter is set to launch designers Andrea Crespi and Lorenzo Silva tell the story of its inception. Worth a read for sure if you’re still on the fence about backing.
Final Countdown, coming this summer, will not be a big, new campaign expansion for Galaxy Defenders, Ares Games’ sci-fi tactical miniature game. But it will bring three new agents to the game, including the first ever alien fighting for the defenders. They will go a long way to keep the game fresh, though. Also, the expansion will give you components for doors and windows on the battlefield, but the new agents are clearly the main attraction.
Toy giant Hasbro will launch a game subscription service later this summer, Fortune reports. The great old one of the gaming industry wants to ship boxes to subscribers four times a year, each containing three games. The idea is that these games will be new designs that, if one proves particularly popular with subscribers, may see wider release afterwards. Subscribers may choose between two boxes, one with family games, the other with games falling under the broad description of party games. I’m very curious about the games that will be distributed this way, so if you’re a subscriber I’d be happy to hear from you when you receive the first box.
Barbarian clans attacking civilization, that’s not a history lesson about the end of the Roman Empire but the very short summary of Barbarians: The Invasion, an area control and worker placement game by Tabula Games and Pierluca Zizzi (Simurgh, al-Rashid,…). The area control part seems obvious enough, you want your people to control the map in order to score points. But the worker placement part has a literal twist: Your workers must be adjacent on the Volcano, and its four rings can twist and change which spaces are adjacent to your guys. Planning for that will be the big challenge in Barbarians. And although I’m loath to mention the great miniatures in a Kickstarter nowadays, seeing how many projects have great miniatures, these are worth a look.
Tasty Minstrel Games
There are many approaches to civilization building games. Most of them are big, long and heavy, but there are some more nimble games, quick to play, with simple rules, but no less epic than their larger relatives. One such game is The Flow of History by Jesse Li, a card game that forces you to replace your civilization’s achievements in six categories with newer ones whenever you advance. Progress is not always only positive. There’s also the unusual mechanism to buy cards that isn’t quite an auction but is still interactive and lets you mess with your opponents. Why do I bring up a game from last year? Because Tasty Minstrel Games are running an indiegogo for a new edition and a deluxe version, so if you want to get in on The Flow of History, now’s a good time.
North Star Games / Nick Bentley Games
There’s not much new about the gameplay of Evolution: The Oceans in this new preview post. But it is a very interesting look into the kind of detail consideration that goes into a game before it gets to your table.
Catalyst Game Labs / Wizards of the Coast
Catalyst Game Labs have very successfully adapted their RPG Shadowrun to a cooperative deck-building game with Shadowrun: Crossfire. The engine of that game works so well, it will now be put to work in another game: in a partnership with Wizard of the Coast it’ll turn Dungeons & Dragons into Dragonfire. This will let you play in the Forgotten Realms, specifically along the Sword Coast, but attractive options for expansions are already hinted at. Who wouldn’t want to play in Waterdeep or Neverwinter?