Everything Epic Games
Sometimes combining two things to create something new can yield very interesting results. Everything Epic Games try that with their Kickstarter project Agents and Operatives and bring Werewolves style social deduction together with worker placement. Players in Agents and Operatives are either on team Agents, on team Operatives or freelance Mercenaries, but at the start of the game they don’t know what team anyone else is on. When each player sends their unit meeples to a location to take action there in best worker placement manner, they don’t know if other meeple already there are on their side or not. You have the option to interrogate their meeple to get a definitive answer, but hopefully you’ll have to take some guesses as well. So combining two common mechanics into one game has the potential to make Agents and Operatives quite interesting indeed.
Tasty Minstrel Games
Tasty Minstrel Games are currently kickstarting a new edition of a popular classic previously published by Days of Wonder: Colosseum. As an official of the Roman Empire it’s your job to supply the circus part of bread and circus. To that end you build an arena and produce events there over five rounds. Events require a variety of assets to produce that you win in auctions or trade for with your opponents. (Free trading! It’s so underused in games.) The winner of Colosseum is not determined by cumulative victory points but by having the single highest scoring performance. But scoring high is not only good for you, the highest scoring player has to donate assets to the player with the lowest score. I’m not entirely convinced by the new design, compared to the old Days of Wonder one, but Colosseum is a game I’m happy to see available again.
One of the really big problems of making Mars inhabitable is oxygen. There is some there, but it’s not in the form of a usable atmosphere. The latest Terraforming Mars preview cards are not big, prestigious building projects, but they are essential to the project. Being a lichen farmer is not a glamorous job, but someone’s got to do it.
Fantasy Flight Games
Ever since Fantasy Flight Games announced Android: Mainframe, I’ve been waiting for more information how it’s played. A new preview post confirms the first impression that it’s light on the rules, you can probably teach the game in five minutes. The post also shows the special programs of two of the hackers included, and they make it clear that luck will play a role in Android: Mainframe, there is a lot of drawing cards and looking at top cards from a pile. That might be a disappointment for those expecting a very strategic abstract game, but I think if luck and skill are balanced well it will turn out a very dynamic and intense game.
A hero is nothing without his companions, not even a big, legendary hero like Conan the Barbarian. His companions will make an appearance in Ares Games’s Age of Conan expansion Adventures in Hyboria. After you met a companion, he or she will stay with you until you play their card to call upon their help exactly once, then they leave. Legendary Items work much the same way, but where Companions help the Cimmerian Legendary Items hinder him. Magic stuff was never good in the Conan universe.
Space Cowboys / Asmodee
Looks like we’ll keep saving history for a while longer, the third scenario for Space Cowboys’s T.I.M.E. Stories is coming very soon. Unlike the first two scenarios, Under the Mask takes you to the distant past, ancient Egypt to be precise. There has been a high profile theft in the Valley of Kings: the famous funerary mask has been stolen from King Tut’s tomb. If it’s missing when the tomb is opened thousands of years later the big boom of archaeology in Egypt will never happen and our understanding of history will forever be incomplete. So it’s time for the T.I.M.E. agents to head into the past and fix it.
Vorpal Chainsword Games
As if raiding a regular dungeon wasn’t bad enough, you had to stumble into this one. A magical tower, populated by monsters, that keeps changing to hinder your progress. That’s what the up to six players of Ravingspire are getting into. The Kickstarter project by Vorpal Chainsword Games combines a deck-building mechanic to advance your fantasy hero with a game board made of rotating parts of the tower they are all trapped in. To make your way to the top, where the greatest treasure is rumored to be, you not only have to fight your way through the traps and monsters in the tower but also create the way to get there by rotating the tower’s rings just right. Sounds like a fun way to get completely lost and never find your way back to daylight.