Tug O’ Lords Mini Review

This is the first of nine mini-reviews about the up and coming prototypes I played at BGG.Con.

Tug O’ Lords was the first game I played on my BGG.Con trip, and was one of the few games I immediately wanted to play again when it concluded. My friend James and I met designers Chris Dixon and Jascha Frei at Ruby Tuesday in Denver just prior to departing on our flight to Dallas/Ft. Worth and had the chance to demo the game.

Tug O’ Lords is a tug of war game in the style of DOTA or League of Legends. Each player has a castle with a number of fields in between along two paths. Each player assembles a deck by combining two smaller decks in Smash-Up style: one race and one magic element. I played the Fire Undead while James commanded the Air Demons. On your turn you can deploy creatures to your castle, and then they slowly march toward the opposing castle. When your creatures occupy the same field as an opposing creature they must fight before moving on. If your creatures manage to survive long enough to reach your opponents castle they inflict damage upon it. If you castle takes five damage, you lose! In the game we played I raised an army of skeletons in my defense but in the end I fell prey to a horde of flying demons smashing against my castle walls.

While the mechanics of Tug O’ Lords are simple, the game really shines through the card abilities and the unique combinations of race + element – giving Tug O’ Lords a surprisingly deep level of strategy and replayability.

Privateer

PRIVATEER

A Game of Piracy on the High Seas!

An exciting new game from Ensignia Games launching on Kickstarter November 16th

Buy, sell, and steal cargo while improving your captain’s prowess and increasing your infamy.

Launched in 2013, Ensignia Games was founded by Rick Barnes, Braven Carver, and Zack Schuster in Irvine California. What started out as three friends playing an invented board game has turned into collaborative business venture. The goal to create a fun, strategic, and easily accessible game for family and friends has never been closer to being reached. Inspired by games such as Sid Meier’s Pirates and Settlers of Catan, Privateer will be a must own for hard core and casual gamer’s alike.

Privateer has undergone hundreds of plays and countless hours of testing to ensure that it is a fun game, which remains strategic and exciting. After each game, players are hungry to play again with a new captain and to try their hand at a new strategy or play style.

About Game:

The object of the game of Privateer is to be the first captain to amass a total of 20 “Infamy” points. Infamy is a measure of how fearsome, clever, and skilled your captain has become throughout the entirety of the game. Infamy can be gained through upgrades to your captain’s ship or through the accumulation of powerful and rare Relic cards.

Everything in Privateer is based off of your captain’s upgrades. Upgrades can be purchased in any of the game’s four unique tracks, which are detailed as follows:

  • Sails: This track determines how quickly your captain’s ship can sail between ports. A higher sails score allows you to visit ports more frequently, catch and attack other ships, or even outrun other ships altogether.

  • Crew: This track governs your captain’s influence. Throughout the game there are a large number of events which may transpire during play (called Fortunes). When a Fortune occurs, captains with a high crew score often receive larger benefits than captains with a lower score. For instance, during the Parley Fortune, each captain rolls a six-sided die and adds the result to their total crew score. The captain with the highest total roll may receive a free upgrade to any of their four tracks!

  • Cannons: Upgrades to this track will allow your captain to best other ships in combat. This track is essential if you wish to plunder cargo from other ships or if you want to ensure that your own cargo will not be plundered by other aggressive captains. A captain with a low Cannons score can often fall prey to continuous attacks from greedy captains with an eye out for easy plunder.

  • Hold: This track affects a captain’s ability to store cargo. Simply put, the higher a captain’s Hold score, the higher the number of goods he or she can carry and trade at a time. This is often a very important track for merchants, or even for pirates who often plunder large amounts of cargo at one time. What is the use in plundering cargo if you have nowhere to store all of your hard earned booty?

All of Privateer’s captains are wholly unique, and have special abilities that increase a player’s ability to utilize different track upgrades. You will often want to play to your captain’s strengths in order to ensure victory. Often, however, a player may choose to play their captain in an alternate way depending on the way the game is transpiring. There is no wrong road to victory!

Number of players: 3-6 (with a variant for 2 players)

Recommended age: 9+

Kickstarter Page: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/971032770/privateer-0

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/privateergame

 

Issue #96

 

The Best in Board Games – In 5 Minutes or Less!
Nov 27, 2013 – Issue #96

Reminder

Happy Thanksgiving! Today’s issue will be the last for this week. Enjoy the long weekend! If you are looking for something to do while you wait for the next issue consider entering the $250 Content Contest.

TOP NEWS

  • Board Game Innovation announces the latest in their acrylic overlays, this time for Terra Mystica.
  • Fantasy Flight announces Hidden Kingdoms a deluxe expansion for the Warhammer LCG. Hidden Kingdoms will be the last expansion released for the Warhammer LCG.
  • She proposed via Summoner Wars. He said yes!

HOT DEALS

Kickstart Corner

Reviews & Previews

Viticulture

Viticulture is the game of strategic wine-making from Stonemaier Games. In Viticulture players assume the role of vineyard owners as they attempt to grow their vineyard and fulfill wine orders. Use your workers to perform actions in both the summer and winter and make use of the occasional visitor who jumps in to help. Viticulture is for 2-6 players and takes about an hour.

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DESIGNER’S MIND

By |November 27th, 2013|Issue|0 Comments

Issue #95

 

The Best in Board Games – In 5 Minutes or Less!
Nov 26, 2013 – Issue #95

Reminder

Tomorrow’s issue of Today in Board Games will be the last for this week as I am taking the rest of the week off to celebrate Thanksgiving with my family. I hope you have a great holiday weekend! – Roger

TOP NEWS

HOT DEALS

Kickstart Corner

Reviews & Previews

Dungeon Doors

Dungeon Doors is from Selenia’s Games, the creative outlet of TiBG reader David Officer. In the game one player takes the role of the dungeon lord and the other the hero. The hero emerges victorious if he slays all three of the beholders in the dungeon. Dungeon Doors is a light quick card game that can be finished in less than 30 minutes. Get a copy for only $3.95 at The Game Crafter.

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DESIGNER’S MIND

Project of the Day

The Back it for a Buck Challenge (B4B) encourages gamers to back 10 board game related Kickstarter projects during the current month for $1.00 (or more) each. The Project of the Day is a suggested project you may wish to back.

Rumrunners

Keep the moonshine flowing in this digital board game
On Kickstarter until December 18
By |November 26th, 2013|Issue|0 Comments

Creative Clash

Issue #94

 

The Best in Board Games – In 5 Minutes or Less!
Nov 25, 2013 – Issue #94

WINNER!

The winner of Dungeon Roll, courtesy of Tasty Minstrel Games is Lenny S., congratulations! Be sure to take a look at all Tasty Minstrel has to offer and keep an eye out for our next contest starting soon!

TOP NEWS

  • The Horn That Wakes is the latest chapter pack for the Game of Thrones LCG from Fantasy Flight Games – it’s hitting store shelves now.

HOT DEALS

Kickstart Corner

Reviews & Previews

Hegemonic

Hegemonic is the newly available 4x Space game from Minion Games. Players represent powerful House Leaders exploring new sectors of the galaxy, improving infrastructure, and researching new technologies. Using a modular board the game easily scales from 2-6 players and takes 30-45 minutes per player. Hegemonic comes with a large number of high-quality components and can be ordered from the Minion Games website for $79.99

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DESIGNER’S MIND

Project of the Day

The Back it for a Buck Challenge (B4B) encourages gamers to back 10 board game related Kickstarter projects during the current month for $1.00 (or more) each. The Project of the Day is a suggested project you may wish to back.

Modeling & Sculpting Course

Become a pro with these videos from James Van Schaik
On Kickstarter until December 9
By |November 25th, 2013|Issue|0 Comments

Issue #93

 

The Best in Board Games – In 5 Minutes or Less!
Nov 22, 2013 – Issue #93

GIVEAWAY!

This week we are giving away Dungeon Roll, courtesy of Tasty Minstrel Games. You can enter at the contest page every day for the duration of the contest. The giveaway is open until midnight on Sunday, November 24th.

TOP NEWS

HOT DEALS

Kickstart Corner

Reviews & Previews

Bora Bora

In Bora Bora each player takes on the role of a Polynesian tribe expanding and exploring across the islands of the south pacific. Use dice to select your actions and block your opponents, build huts and fill them with islanders, and trade for jewelry in an attempt to score the most points and claim victory.

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DESIGNER’S MIND

Project of the Day

The Back it for a Buck Challenge (B4B) encourages gamers to back 10 board game related Kickstarter projects during the current month for $1.00 (or more) each. The Project of the Day is a suggested project you may wish to back.

Bedlam

Chaos and hilarity ensue in this crazy card game
On Kickstarter until December 15
By |November 22nd, 2013|Issue|0 Comments

Rumrunners

Rumrunners: Redefining Traitor Games

(November 18, 2013-Redwood City, CA)- Palomino Labs, a product consulting and incubation company, today launched a Kickstarter campaign for Rumrunners, a new digital board game. Set in the American Prohibition era, Rumrunners is a social game in which a team of bootleggers tries to find the police informants hidden in their midst. Similar to games like Mafia, Werewolf, or The Resistance, Rumrunners is based on stealth, deception, and secret information. However, Rumrunners provides a new take on the “traitor game” genre by enabling players to use any smartphone or tablet to manage the mechanics of the game, allowing everyone in the game to focus on the social interaction between players. Because of the digital medium, Rumrunners is easily accessible, playable anywhere, and instantly manages complicated interactions without need for a moderator.
“With Rumrunners, our goal is to enhance gameplay experiences by using digital devices to streamline mechanics and unlock new gameplay opportunities.” – Ryan Ausanka-Crues, CEO, Palomino Labs, Inc.

The future of social gaming

Rumrunners combines the best elements of traditional tabletop games and digital gaming to define a new gaming category far better than the sum of its parts. While most tabletop games are cumbersome to carry around, and full of pieces that need to be set up, Rumrunners can be taken anywhere a phone can go and doesn’t require any setup. Additionally, Rumrunners rewrites digital game tradition by creating and enhancing real social connections; players are encouraged to play in the same room instead of distributed to enhance the gameplay experience. By allowing mobile devices to keep track of game state, Rumrunners allows players to focus on the game rather than passing cards, tracking down dice, and shuffling decks.

Kickstarter campaign

The Rumrunners Kickstarter campaign runs from November 18th, 2013 to December 18th, 2013. The campaign includes multiple backing levels that include etched glassware, branding-iron branded beverage coasters, limited edition game-art, and, of course, access to the game. The Rumrunners campaign can be found at:
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/palominolabs/rumrunners
or
http://www.facebook.com/rumrunnersgame

Machina Arcana

game3

PRESS RELEASE

Machina Arcana is a cooperative steampunk horror board game for 1-4 players. An immersive and dark, turn-based tactical game. Today it is going live on Kickstarter!

A novel way of interacting with environment, inventory, combat mechanics, tactical and storytelling experience all connected in order to give you a complete immersion and replay value.

Enjoy the stunning art and dark visuals of the game, let yourself be entranced in the gripping story and peculiar events. There is no need for game master, no special conditions based on player count, a modifiable duration and difficulty setting. But one thing is always certain – every session is different, huge content and a game that is easy to learn but hard to master.

Check them out and show your support!

game2game1

 

 

Issue #92

 

The Best in Board Games – In 5 Minutes or Less!
Nov 21, 2013 – Issue #92

GIVEAWAY!

This week we are giving away Dungeon Roll, courtesy of Tasty Minstrel Games. You can enter  at the contest page every day for the duration of the contest. The giveaway is open until midnight on Sunday, November 24th.

TOP NEWS

HOT DEALS

Kickstart Corner

Reviews & Previews

Glass Road

One of the two new hits from designer Uwe Rosenberg. In Glass Road each player hires three workers each round from the pool. Select workers different from other players and get bonus effects. Use the resources workers generate to make bricks, manufacture glass, and buy buildings. A clever rondel resource mechanic makes resource tracking a cinch.

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DESIGNER’S MIND

By |November 21st, 2013|Issue|0 Comments