Quinns: Paul, I understand you enjoy placing illustrated tiles on a grid.
Paul: I hope this is alluding to the Kickstarter for Founders of Gloomhaven, and not my rare sex fetish.
Quinns: Exactly that! Wait, what?
Paul: You haven’t heard? Founders of Gloomhaven is board gaming’s latest Kickstarter smash hit. Remember Kickstarter fantasy co-op adventure Gloomhaven? Well, Founders of Gloomhaven is a second game from designer Isaac Childres set in the same world, but this time he’s offering a competitive game of building a city featuring “a unique mix of tile placement, action selection, hand management, worker placement, and blind bidding.”
Quinns: It sounded like you said “rare sex fetish.”
Paul: Founders of Gloomhaven has already raised almost $300,000, and it still has twenty-four more days to soar past its funding goal.
Quinns: I like a lot about the design of this Kickstarter. I like that there are a ton of videos of it being played, I like that there’s only really one backer tier, and I like that it’s available in both print-and-play and Tabletop Simulator if you’d like to try before you buy.
Gloomhaven? More like clearhaven. Because they’re being very transparent. Do you see?
So long as we’re doing crowdfunding news, remember gritty RPG Torchbearer? We published a happy review on the site, talked about it on a podcast and generally had a great time with it (while our characters had a bad time, shivering and hungry in a haunted cave, deep beneath the earth).
I’m thrilled to say that designer Luke Crane has a Kickstarter for a new, sizeable pre-written adventure! Stone Dragon Mountain will be a sixty-four page campaign designed for new players, with a focus on the dread and danger of mountain-climbing. Which is to say, it’ll focus on the believable dangers that bring your story to life.
Paul: Torchbearer is a game that should, in theory, be endlessly expandable, but I’ve not seen a lot of additional material yet, so this is pleasing. I’m concerned about the “Risks and Challenges” on this project, however. Definitely check those out.
You know what I found while looking at Torchbearer stuff? Only this (now so belated) April Fool’s post, with a ruleset that allows you to join an Alien/Aliens-based campaign AS THE CAT.
Quinns: Paul that is pretty silly.
Paul: You can get up to level ten! That’s some serious cat progress.
Quinns: Paul have you ever wanted to go up a mountain in antarctica and then go insane
Paul: I want for nothing else
Quinns: GOOD. Because Iello’s forthcoming Mountains of Madness is offering you just that opportunity, giving you a pyramid of tiles to flip over as you ascend this perilous peak, its dangers designed by none other than Pandemic Legacy’s architect Rob Daviau!
Paul: And it’s cooperative, so we can go insane together! Okay, Lovecraft as a setting for a game really doesn’t do anything for me, as it’s so overused now, but Rob Daviau’s name certainly does and I have to admit a little extra bias because At the Mountains of Madness is possibly my favourite Lovecraft story (I love romantic comedy). I do enjoy a lot of cooperative games to boot, so this is absolutely something I am going to stick a pin in. Even though I know a pin, or any sort of conventional weapon, will be useless against its otherworldly dangers.
Quinns: Speaking of Lovecraft, Paul do you want yet another new edition of Love Letter, this ti-
Paul: please no
Quinns: this time called lovecraft letter
Paul: please make them stop
Quinns: Nothing can stem this otherworldly flow, Mr. Dean.
Credit where it’s due, this game isn’t actually publisher AEG’s fault. Seiji Kanai, the original designer of Love Letter, first published Lovecraft Letter in Japan in 2016. AEG are just bringing it to Western markets in an absolutely gorgeous new edition containing weighted poker chips, new artwork and sleeves for all of your cards.
(I know this because I’ve got a copy in my lap as I type this. It’s really nice! I’ve not played it yet, but it’s the first update to Love Letter that’s captured my attention.)
Moving on, Paul have you ever wanted to wake up on a spaceship??
Paul: you mean now i can????
Quinns: You can in Nemesis, an upcoming game from Polish publisher Rebel.pl, just so long as you’re also willing to find out just what has gone wrong with that ship, why one of the crew members is dead and what the… what the new noises are (and sh Paul don’t make too much noise yourself).
You and your fellow crewmates will explore the randomly-generated vessel as you try to get to the bottom of what has happened and all fulfill your own, secret objectives.
Paul: I love new noises. I also love that this is ostensibly a cooperative game for up to five of you, but that you’re nevertheless not entirely sure who you trust. Each of you is up to something and each of you also has a very particular skillset, which you further develop as you explore and improve your character via careful management of your hand of cards.
Quinns: Yeah. I think that this looks pretty cool. In an ideal world this will be like Betrayal at the House on the Hill, but not as wonky as a table with two legs.
Paul: Speaking of sci-fi mysteries, have you seen what’s going on with this? Raxxon was the evil corporation introduced in the last Dead of Winter expansion, and now Asmodee has built a Raxxon web site.
Quinns: Ah! Interesting. My guess is that this is a tease for the next game in the “Crossroads” series of board games that are all about fragile alliances, of which Dead of Winter was simply the first instalment. We know that the next Crossroads game will be set in outer space, so I bet my bottom dollar that it’ll be set on a space ship owned by Raxxon, fleeing the zombie apocalypse they caused on Earth, and first unveiled through this site.
Paul: Quinns nobody wants your bottom dollar
Quinns: For your information my bottom is very clean today
Paul: quinns have you ever wanted to be a plant
Paul: drinkin ur lovely sunlight
Quinns: What is happening
Paul: Okay, so bear with me here. When I first saw Blue Orange Games’ press release about Photosynthesis, I thought it was as silly as… as probably anybody would think it is. It really is a game about photosynthesising, a game where “players can use the lights points they have earned as currency to buy, plant, grow, and harvest seeds and trees.” Blue Orange’s catalogue features quite a lot of very light (no pun intended) titles and I thought this was just a gimmick.
But I remembered that Blue Orange are also the publishers behind the middlingly-popular and very pretty New York 1901, as well as respectable family strategy games like Kingdomino (which just won the 2017 Spiel des Jahres prize) and Vikings on Board, and then I saw ALL THOSE CARDBOARD TREES. Sure, the play estimate is just fifteen minutes per game, so this is probably not the most involved experience you’re ever going to have, but surely you can’t knock ALL THOSE CARDBOARD TREES and the joy of digesting a bit of light now and then?
Quinns: Yes but what is going on with those blue trees in the photo? They are wrong
Paul: Moving on to the wider world, I’d very much like for this event to get funded. We’re increasingly spoiled for board game conventions in Europe and North America, but finding similar events in other parts of the world isn’t always as easy. This is why Nigerian game designer Kenechukwu Ogbuagu is stepping up for the second year running to put on ABCon in Abuja, Nigeria, and is asking for donors to sponsor booths and tables.
I get just a touch of deja vu as I read about Ogbuagu’s desire to show everyone just what is out there these days, for people to play more than just the same handful of board games and to “break the stereotypes about general tabletop gaming.” He’s making the convention free for attendees and hopes that the momentum from the event will carry over to subsequent cons.
And finally, in “too stupid to not be true, I guess” news, Rey still won’t be featured in Star Wars Monopoly because, apparently, not enough people are interested. Even after so many mainstream media outlets widely reported how lady-less the game is back in 2015. Speaking to AP, Hasbro said that sales of a newer copy of the game that did feature Rey weren’t enough to convince them to support it, though customers who specifically wanted this version could still order it in person.
If there’s a new version released this year, tying in with Episode VIII, perhaps we can hope to see a better selection then. There’s a little-known character called Leia that they could feature, for example, though she’s very obscure and you’ve probably not heard of her.
Anyway, here’s hoping.