Meople News: Garden of Tiny Monsters

Gamelyn Games

Scott Almes’s Tiny Epic Kingdoms are about to become slightly larger and a good deal more epic with Heroes’ Call, the first expansion to the tiny, strategic game of conquest. With the expansion, you will have at least seven new factions to lead in the war, with stretchgoals there may be as many as thirteen, and you will have new territory cards with new types of landscapes on them. But most exciting are the all new Heroes, special oversized meeple you can recruit for your army that will lend a special ability. And if you manage to retire them instead of having them killed, they are even worth some victory points. Tiny Epic Kingdoms: Heroes’ Call is currently on Kickstarter.

Dice City (Image by Alderac)
Dice City (Image by Alderac)

Alderac / Artipia Games

Don’t we all love previews for upcoming games? Here is the first for Alderac and Artipia Games’s dice game Dice City: the Market Place. I have no objections to always trading with a 100% profit, really not.

Fantasmagoria Games

A strategy game with deck-building mechanics is new on Kickstarter by Fantasmagoria Games. Battalia: The Creation is a game of battle in the fantasy world of Battalia. Up to four players expand their empires in this world while it is still being created, assembling the board from tiles is part of the game. The armies doing the fighting are in the players card decks in the form of unit cards. But fighting isn’t all they’re good for, they can also create artifacts and build roads and cities. Allegedly, you can win the game without going to war, just building your empire.

Fantasy Flight Games

The next Eldritch Horror expansion Strange Remnants is going to be different in not setting you against one of the Great Old Ones but against the stars themselves, aligned to put a malign influence on Earth. The latest preview shows some places you will have to visit to protect the world, ancient and mysterious places like Stonehenge or the Easter Island. But even when fighting regular Old Ones, Strange Remnants changes everything: Prelude Cards, drawn at the start of the game, will put additional conditions in play, sometimes for and sometimes against the players.

We already saw the upgrades the Rebellion will receive with Imperial Assault: Twin Shadows. The Imperial player has one disadvantage compared to them and compared to the Overlord in Descent: half his troops are Stormtroopers, they get a bit boring after the third variant. Like those new Heavy Stormtroopers. I’m not questioning their use, but they are still Stormtroopers. Fortunately, he also gets to hire more colorful mercenaries, like the Tusken Raiders.

Hobby World

A new game set in Dmitry Glukhovsky’s Metro setting is coming from Russian publisher Hobby World in a Russian and an English edition. The Metro novels, and the games based on them, are set in a future where a nuclear war has devastated Earth’s surface and the last unmutated survivors live in the subway tunnels of Moscow. This new game, Metro 2033: Breakthrough is a card game about solving quests and gaining influence in the Moscow underground. It’s not an expansion to the 2011 game Metro 2033, also by Hobby World, but a new standalone game.

Loop, Inc. (Image by Eagle & Gryphon Games)
Loop, Inc. (Image by Eagle & Gryphon Games)

Eagle & Gryphon Games

Time travel is confusing as hell, isn’t it? You can experience just how confusing in the second Scott Almes game we discovered on Kickstarter this week, this one published by Eagle & Gryphon Games. In Loop, Inc. you work as a sort of time travel guide. Your company organizes trips to the past for paying customers to witness great events. In order to earn a big bonus from your boss, you have to be the best agent and make the most money in a single day. But wait, you have a time machine, you can do the same single day more than once to improve your chances. The three rounds are your three iterations of the day. The first time, everything is pretty straightforward. But the second time around, you have a past self running around doing all the things you did the first day, and your new actions should not cause a paradox with those from before. The third time is obviously going to be even more fun.

A worker placement game in a most peculiar setting is the latest Kickstarter and Giochistarter project by That setting is the Sacred Grove of Bomarzo, a garden with large monster statues in the central Italian town of Bomarzo. Town and garden actually exist, and it seems why the garden was built the way it was is still a bit of a mystery. The explanation in Bomarzo the game is that those monster statues actually house heathen gods, and sacrificing to them was how surrounding nobles kept their estates running. They send their workers to do the sacrifices, meaning every action has to be paid with different goods, and if someone else took the same action already a new sacrifice must be more generous. That’s not the only new wrinkle in worker placement Bomarzo offers, also new is that you can take an action outside of your turn, when another player uses it. Taking an action that way is more expensive, but you don’t have to use one of your workers. Some interesting new ideas there, and I love the obscure and bizarre setting.

Ystari Games

A new game by Ystari Games lets you fight exciting space battles with only a deck of cards. And live on TV, because in 2115, war is televised and fighter pilots are media super stars. How much that actually features in the game is a mystery for now, just like the exact game mechanics. What we know for now is that Starfighter is a two player game where cards are used to attack your opponent and avoid his attacks. Also, it’s complex enough that it justifies a training game mode to learn the card powers. It’s set to release in July, so we’ll know more soon.

Queen Games

We don’t usually mention it when Kickstarter projects get cancelled, figuring that either you got interested and started following the project or you didn’t get interested and then won’t be interested in the cancellation, either. But since Queen Games have an excellent track record, on Kickstarter as well as publishing games in general, them cancelling Kingdom Builder: Marshlands stands out. Their license to publish further expansions expires end of June, so in just a few days, and as designer Donald X. Vaccarino explains in this thread on BoardGameGeek, that license will not be extended, at least for the moment, because of late payments for last year. Part of that payment has been made by now, but the Kickstarter project is down now and will not be coming back soon. Vaccarino is “optimistic that the expansion may be published someday, but would not be expecting it this year.”

The featured photo this week was taken by Damien du Toit and generously shared with a CC-BY license. It shows Dune 7, one of the largest sand dunes in the world, in the Namib desert of Namibia.

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