A clever little card game called Influence is currently on Kickstarter, and it’s worth your time to check out. The goal of the game is to gain Power from controlling castles. You control castles by playing influence cards on them. So far it’s nothing new, but there are a few extras: not all influence to conquer castles comes from influence cards, some also comes from controlling castles in the neighbourhood. And not all your cards are influence cards, some sabotage opposing castles, delay your turn until the end of the round, swap cards around or change the order in which influence on castles is checked at the end of the round. More special cards are coming as the projects stretch goals are met. Add to that a number of different setups and free-for-all as well as team play for up to six players and you have a pretty attractive package.
Fantasy Flight Games
I will stop calling Relic by the nickname Talisman 40k, because, not to put to fine a point on it, it adds some many thinks to the Talisman core rules that it’s only the same game in a very wide sense indeed. This week, we learn that Relic is scenario based: the very center of the board, where you would gain the Crown of Command in original Talisman, is replaced by a scenario card, changing the victory conditions each game. We’re talking about the forces of Chaos, after all, why would you expect them to be predictable? But before you can even think about going there, you have to complete your Missions, tasks that are not too hard to fulfill and offer a reward to do so, and only after completing three of them you will have earned one of the titular Relics, powerful artifacts of the Empire of Man, and be allowed to enter the Inner Region of the board.
Every Friday in March, Asmadi Games will start a beta test for one of their coming releases. This announcement has the great side-effect for us that it tells us what is coming from Asmadi:
- Sanitarium – The Foyer: an expansion to the escape-from-the-creepy-insane-asylum card game with a starting location, improved rulebook and a new scenario – all that for one dollar, just because they think they could have polished it more before release. That’s how all publishers should deal with their games they’re not 100% happy with.
- A new expansion to Innovation, still unnamed and with the promise to do something completely new with the already versatile Innovation cards.
- Episode 1 of the episodic, voice-acting-supported board game Consequential.
- A still completely secret new game by Carl Chudyk where you use cards in multiple ways again, although no one would tell me in which ways. It’s also set in space!
Cool Mini or Not
This project may be headed for a new Kickstarter record. With 26 days to go and an original goal of $25.000 Zombicide Season 2: Prison Outbreak has, at the time of writing, reached $714.000. And since this post is going to be published tomorrow only it may well be beyond $800.000 by then. That’s about 4.000 backers for the project at various levels. Like the first Zombicide game, Prison Outbreak is still a cooperative game about a small band of survivors trying to survive against the never-ending tide of undead with a bunch or really cool minis. Prison Outbreak is a standalone game with a new campaign of ten missions and lots of cool stuff, but seems to be compatible with the original for mix-and-matching your own. The same Kickstarter project also lets you spring for Toxic City Mall – because no place attracts zombies like a mall – an expansion playable with either of the two base games. Happy hunting!
Game design veteran Bruno Faidutti has posted a preview for his coming card game Mascarade on his blog (scroll down for the English translation). Mascarade will be played with one card per player, a role card with a special power. But the carnival in Venice, the setting of the game, can be a very confusing place and as role cards are secretly swapped you can never be sure who everyone else is. Or, for that matter, who you are. With enough different roles to play with up to 13 players – or with as little as two – this is a strong concept for a game that still plays quickly in larger groups. The illustrations by Jeremy Masson do the rest to sell me on Mascarade.
Dausend Dode Drolle
The German publisher has started a crowdfunding campaign at Spieleschmiede for the first game by Carsten Söllman: Kolossus. In this high-fantasy boardgame the four “young races” fight for control of the Citadel of Time, against each other and maybe against the Citadel’s architects, I don’t know yet. It’s played on a three-dimensional and variable game board that changes with every game and will be suitable for casual players and game enthusiasts alike. Since it’s the authors first game, it’s hard to guess details, so we’ll just have to wait for more information to show up. The game will be completely bilingual in German and English, so don’t let the germanness scare you away.
Ghosts. Just like zombies, they are a type of undead, and as such it’s impossible to keep them in the graveyard. And in case of the Spectre, the most recent Smash Up: Awesome Level 9000 preview card, you would really want to, because a 5-point minion is a pretty big deal. The card is mellowed down a little by the requirement of having two or less cards in your hand to use its ability, but as a crafty Ghost player that won’t be hard to do.
Although TopatoCo is not, in their main function, a boardgame publisher, they will publish Machine of Death: The Game of Creative Assassination once the Kickstarter campaign is over. The Machine of Death is a mystic apparatus dispensing cards. Cards that will tell their receiver their eventual cause of death, without fail. The short story anthology Machine of Death already explored the consequences of the machines existence on Life, the Universe and Everything, but the game will go a much more direct route: the players are assassins hired to kill receivers of such a death prediction. The victim’s death has to occur tonight, but the prediction is always right, so the cause of death is set. Your job is to come up with a plan to make a victim on a space station die in a banana-peel related incident using a zeppelin, a bag of pennies and a cucumber, just as an example. A bunch of different game modes set how to get from a good-if-convoluted plan to actually winning the game. It’s so evil it’s good!
The photo of the Centro Artesanal Fundo El Fierro in the historic center of Arequipa, Peru was taken by Flickr user karlnorling and shared with a CC-BY license.