Tag Archives: boardgames

Interview with Cloud Cap Games Part One

I can’t thank Kirsten and James enough for taking time out of their day to talk to me. Today we have part one of my interview with Cloud Cap Games.

Cloud Cap Games
https://www.facebook.com/cloudcapgames/

http://cloudcapgames.com/

1226 SE Lexington St.
Portland, OR 97202
503.505.9344
info@cloudcapgames.com

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100 AD by SoulJAR Games-Kickstarter

We’ve mentioned SoulJAR Games in our GameStorm 17 Special and had the opportunity to interview them here. SoulJAR now has a new game on Kickstarter: 100 AD. They were playtesting it on a back table at GameStorm 17 and I was really intrigued then. Politics and corruption abound. Take a look. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/souljargames/100-ad

100 AD

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Spaghetti & Meeples Looks at Kaiju Conquest

Update: The Kickstarter campaign has been pushed back a little. Visit this link to see what’s up and how you can help.


The copy I received of Kaiju Conquest was a prototype version that I had to send back. What is it like to play Kaiju Conquest? Well, we’ll get to that, but there’s a lot to unpack before we do. First, the premise: humans are going about their day not worrying about a thing and have bits of military industrial complex spread around as the United Nations Reaction Force(UNRF) and then the pesky Sazzarran (Kaiju) start showing up wanting to kill everyone. You can play with 2 or 4 players. That is simple enough, but let’s take a look at what’s in the box!.

Looky Here

Whoa, buddy! Like I said, a lot to unpack. Literally and figuratively. Huzzah!

The UNRF has army, navy, air, marines and evac tokens. The Sazzarran side has land, air, sea, reaper, and drone tokens. Both sides also have bases and garrisons! What are you going to do with all of that? Well, first, make sure it’s all separated into baggies, clearly. Ha! Boardgame humor. But wait, there’s more. You also have Resource Cards and Command Cards and Target City Cards (optional) and portals! And don’t forget the dice!

Alright folks. I need you to grab your reference sheets (pictured above and below the game board in the previous photo) and hang on because we’re about to jump into the deep end. Well, not the really, really deep end, because I’m going to simplify things for the purposes of this review.

Set up. The UNRF puts pieces on the board first, but not any mechs-not yet. What? Yes, there are mechs! Each side has big guns, as it were; military forces that get their very own cardboard standees and accompanying cards with stats about strength and defense. The UNRF player grabs 16 resource cards (excluding mechs for now) and places those in at least eight territories along with base tokens and water base tokens. The Sazzarran will draw two target city cards while the UNRF is busy setting up. Once that is all done you are ready to play.

Gameplay consists of six phases: World Event Phase, Resource Phase, Movement Phase, Battle Phase, Re-Deployment Phase, and the Control Phase. I’m not going to go into detail about each phase; partially because it would be lengthy and partially because the names say it all. I will state that during the World Event Phase both players roll dice and then reference the, what else?, Reference Sheet and resolve the result. For the UNRF this can mean gaining or losing resources and for the Sazzarran it means gaining resources and maybe portals. Portals! Because how else are the Kaiju going to arrive to destroy your pathetic little human enclaves! Die, puny humans!!!!

Some of the game pieces and cards

Some of the game pieces and cards

Where was I? Ah, yes. So, now you have the basic outline of play, but there is so much more. Both players remove their forces from the main board to a battle board for the battle phase. The rules are simple enough: roll the right number or higher and you damage your opponent’s forces. There are some rules regarding levels. For example: a level 6 cannot attack a level 8. You get the idea. Once all battles are resolved you may redistribute your forces, whatever forces remain and then use the garrison tokens to claim territory. (Correction: a Command 6 unit could attack a Command 8 unit if it is alive long enough to make the attack when it is its turn.) (Additional correction: Some of the rules are still being finalized and should be ready for the Feb 2016 Kickstarter launch) These are important for victory points. Because, it’s all about victory points. Points for garrisons, points for bases, points for enemy units you destroyed. First player to 120 points wins

Battle Board and Rule Book

Battle Board and Rule Book

Back to the original question: What is it like to play Kaiju Conquest? Honestly, I’m not entirely sure. There is a lot of good here. There is a lot here, period. The good: mechs, kaiju, portals, air, land, and sea forces. Dice! Battles! Then there are the things that are not bad. Not really. I’m just not sure they are necessary- like Garrison tokens and Evac tokens. And, while the battles are cool, they can drag on if you both get bad rolls or if you have a lot of UNRF and Sazzarran tokens, which can happen.

I still haven’t answered your question. Wait, my question. Not really. When playing Kaiju Conquest I felt like I was playing a niche war game that I was unaware of. I kept thinking “Wow! This is a style I have never played before” and I thought it was something that existed and I had never come across. But, others in my play group felt the same. Kaiju Conquest is not in production yet and the version I received is different from the version that exists as of the time of my typing this review. There are cosmetic changes that are currently being made and I feel they are for the better.

I want to like this game. I want to like it a lot. And I think I could with just a few minor tweaks. And I have been informed by the designer, Warren Loewen, that he is indeed making some of these changes. This makes me very excited to see how it turns out once it hits Kickstarter in February of 2016.

KC Box Front

KC Box Back

 

 

 

 

 

What would I like to see if/when Kaiju Conquest hits Kickstarter/production? I’d
like to see a stripped down version. Give me the air, land, sea, and mech forces. Give me the bases. But, then do give me all of that stuff I want pulled out in expansions! Let me get settled in and used to this world and this game and then hand me the Evac units.

Find Kaiju Conquest at these fine locations:

http://www.kaijuconquest.com/

https://www.facebook.com/kaijuconquest

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Tiny Epic Galaxies Unboxing

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/coe/tiny-epic-galaxies-the-universe-in-your-pocket

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/coe/tiny-epic-kingdoms

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/coe/tiny-epic-defenders

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Interview with Souljar Games

Today we are joined by SoulJar Games. We first ran into them at Gamestorm 17. We were immediately impressed by Alyssa’s knit beholder hat and then by their games, Torn Armor and Dice Crawl. You can see Brandon talking about them here and look for a review of Dice Crawl soon(ish). Be sure to visit them at http://souljargames.com/ and https://www.facebook.com/SoulJAR.Games


SoulJar

How did Souljar games come about?

We were a group of friends and industry developers who met through the wonderful means of social media. Once we encountered each other and started to talk, we knew that we had to produce something together.

What does the name mean?

HA! The truth is, we just wanted to tap into the soul of gaming: the fun, the enjoyment, the friends around the table, all sharing in the soul of what it means to play. The name was accidental, but driven by that spirit,

How did the three of you come together? 

Facebook. I’d like to elaborate on that further, but the simple truth is that via the social channel of Facebook we met and were able to experience each other’s views on gaming. and design.

What do each of you bring to the team?

Jim brings great game design, Jack brings stunning attention to detail and a insurmountable ability to bring red tape together, and Natalya just loves the spirit of social networking. Great games, designed and built by the best companies, delivered to your for your learned and respected consideration.

What are the challenges in having your creative team spread out? 

Communication and understanding; what everyone is doing, where they are at, and bringing the mutli-faceted parts of game design together … and to your mail box … in a manner that is clear and understood by the entire team. This is a big question in many ways. Jim does an excellent job of creating a new game with wholly new mechanics, but then he doesn’t necessarily know where we’re at with the promotion of the same game, or gathering of component quotes, unless we make a strong attempt to communication these facts to each other. And that’s really the greatest challenge: clear communication.

What is the design process like for SoulJar?

Jim dreams up a game – I’m not entirely sure how he does it – and he pitches it to the team during our next meeting. if we like the idea – and we typically do – we then get a draft set of rules and pieces from him. jack and I play the game through with friend, and at the same time jim is playing with his friends, and together we hash out any tweaks, adjustments, and changes that need to occur. Over a series of months we hash out the draft rules, bring in industry experts, give them a play test, and gather their feedback. Ultimately, at the end of the day, the final game form has had much input and the creative feedback of 24×7 gaming professionals, so by the time we’re ready to crowd fund a game, we know that it’s the best that it can be.

What challenges do you run into as an indie game company?

Figuring things out that the big boys already figured out years ago. Shipping to Australia and New Zealand I think is the biggest one right now =D

Dice Crawl

What lead to the creation of Dice Crawl?

The desire for a family orientated, competitive game, inspired by the dungeon crawl classics.

You ran a very successful Kickstarter campaign for Torn Armor. What was that like?

Stressful, but also rewarding. Crowd funding is an artform and the epitome of social interaction, but with hourly feedback when you are getting it right or wrong. There were great highs, but terrible lows. It is a psychological experience more terrifying than going against Cthulhu.
Torn Armor
What lead to the design of Torn Armor?
A desire to bring about a quick to learn, low cost, skirmish based game. I love wargaming and I think that it could have a broader audience, but cost, time, and play-area holds a lot of people back. We wanted to design something that was extensible, but also provided an introduction into a much larger genre.

Any plans to revisit Gondola?

Yes, absolutely. Gondola is a great, family orientated game; who doesn’t like the prospect of racing a gondola through the canals of Venice?

What are your hopes, dreams, and goals for SoulJar?

To provide entertaining and unique gaming experiences.

What’s on the horizon for SoulJar?

100 AD; a politically driven games in the Roman Empire.

What’s the best gaming experience you have had?

Honestly, any gaming experience in which you come away smiling, happy, content, and having bonded even more strongly with your friends … that’s the best gaming experience. If we had to choose -as a team – then it would have to be Geekdad playtesting 100AD with us … and wanting to play through to the end .. and winning .. with lots of smack talk along the way. We lost … but it was glorious.

100 A.D.

What lead you to design games?

The joy of games and wanting to give a new and unique gaming experience to the gaming audience.

What do you want people to come away with after playing a SoulJar game?

Simple to learn, deceptively deep, lots of options, fun to trounce the whole family into the dirt.

What keeps bringing you back to board/tabletop/rpg games?

Friends, family, fun.

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Podcast Ep 5: Labor Day and Worker Placement Games

Wow! It has been awhile since we’ve had a podcast for you. Here you go! Enjoy a little history on Labor Day in the USA and a discussion of worker placement games.

 

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Mint Tin Mini Apocalypse

Kickstarter Page: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/subquark/mint-tin-mini-apocalypse

The rules as on BoardGameGeek:

A simultaneous 2 player game of surviving the apocalypse all in 5 to 10 minutes.

It’s a nice day in Meepleton. You & friends are enjoying the day without a care in the world . . .
BOOM! Transformers blow, cars crash, people fall to the ground unconscious. Phew! You’re wobbly but okay.
RAWR! Nearby a giant, heinous monster wreaks havoc!
Get your friends to the school’s forgotten fallout shelter.

Game Setup

Dump out tin, choose a color, place 4 meeps laying down & 1 standing on your side of tin.
Grab matching dice.
Tin is the Fallout Shelter (FoS).
Stand monster a few inches from FoS with green die behind it, 6 facing up.
Place 2 white supply boxes between the FoS & nefarious monster.

Game Play
Get your meeps to their feet, stay on yours, secure the FoS, get 1 supply box & seal the FoS!
Your actions are on 7s & you need 1 standing meep to help your single meeps or to knock down others.
FoS holds a max of 7 meeps.
Start game & roll your dice. Standard game is simultaneous rolling, not turn-based.
On a 7 you can:

  • Stand 1 meep (if none standing)
  • Help 1 meep to its feet
  • Help 1 standing meep into FoS
  • Knock down 1 standing opponent
  • Toss 1 opponent out of FoS (you need 1 in) BUT place them standing up outside FoS
  • Send out RECON PAIR from the FoS to get 1 supply box
  • Stand 1 knocked down meep in RECON PAIR
  • Knock down 1 meep in RECON PAIR
  • Drag 1 supply box into FoS with standing RECON PAIR
  • Seal FoS – Close lid with at least 4 of your meeps in & 1 supply box for the WIN!

What about the monster?

Three game modes – Decide before you start: UHOH or OMG or CRA-CRA!

  • UHOH activates monster die as soon as a supply box gets into the FoS. This is standard play. Once activated, player rolling doubles of monster die’s face-up number has to turn monster die down 1. A double 6 turns monster die to 5, a double 5 turns it to 4 & so on. When monster die is on 1, snake eyes (double 1s) ends game. Monster gets in FoS & eats you! BUT . . . either player can be a hero by tossing 1 of their outside standing meeps onto monster die! That meep is forever gone (but not forgotten). However, next double 1s ends the game unless another jumps on. Sacrificing a meep doesn’t need a 7 & can be done in or out of FoS but only when monster die is on 1.
  • OMG mode activates monster die when the game starts. Faster game but it sucks to be human.
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Stronghold Games Announces the Publication of “504”

I probably would have been happy with just 503 😉

Stronghold Games Announces the Publication of “504”Designed by Friedemann Friese 

“504” designated by Stronghold Games as Game #2 in its “The Great Designer Series”

New Jersey, USA – June 25, 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Stronghold Games is proud to announce the publication of “504″, a game designed by the renowned game designer Friedemann Friese, co-published with 2F-Spiele.

504 is a revolutionary concept in game design.  504 offers the game enthusiast 504 different games in a single box, achieving this via the use of nine game modules, which can be merged together to form 504 unique play experiences. The nine modules are Pick-up & Deliver, Race, Privileges, Military, Exploring, Roads, Majorities, Production, andShares.

In 504, players use the spiral bound “Book of 504 Worlds“, selecting three different modules in any order from the nine available, and thereby creating a unique “World”. For example, the selection of three modules for a World may create a game that is:

  • A racing game that expands through exploration with technology improving the racing or exploration (World “253”).
  • An 18XX-style stock game with network building for income and production sites to provide workers for the road building (World “968”).
  • A wargame with a pick-up and deliver economy and bonus scoring from majorities (“World 417”).

Thematically in 504, scientists in the future are able to build small alternate Earths. Exactly 504 such Earths have thus far been built. The scientists have programmed each of these Worlds with an individual set of laws and rules, which the inhabitants strictly follow and consider most important for their lives. These may be exploration, consumption, economics, military, etc., and each is unique. You can visit all of these 504 alternate Earths to experience how the people are living, and decide which of these worlds harbours the best civilization. On which World do you want to live?  Explore them all and decide!

Stronghold Games will release 504 as the second game in its new “The Great Designer Series”, which will highlight games from the best game designers in the world. 504 is designed by the renowned game designer Friedemann Friese, whose previous works include the acclaimed games Power Grid plus its many expansions, Friday, Fauna,Fearsome Floors, and many others. 

The release of 504 continues the commitment of Stronghold Games to partner with publishers globally, bringing their great games to North America and the rest of the world, as well as to continue to publish great euro-game designs.  504 follows the success of two smash-hit 2014 euro-games from Stronghold Games, Panamax andKanban: Automotive Revolution.  Stronghold Games recently announced Porta Nigra, by renowned game design team Wolfgang Kramer & Michael Kiesling, as the first game in its new “The Great Designer Series”, scheduled to be released later this year.

Stronghold Games will print 504 at Ludofact Germany, the leading printer of hobby games in the world. 504 has a tentative release date of November 2015. The MSRP for this game has not been set at this time. Stronghold Games will debut its English edition of 504 in October 2015 at the Essen Spiel in Germany.  Co-publishing partners for other language editions of 504 will be announced imminently by 2F-Spiele.

 

“This is a revolutionary game design for the hobby game industry,” said Stephen Buonocore, President of Stronghold Games. “It is an honor to be working with Friedemann Friese and his great company, 2F-Spiele, on such an ambitious and game-changing project.”

 

“My project 504 was not only hard work for 3.5 years, but it has been a dream of mine since I started to analyze game mechanics in the mid-90s”, said Friedemann Friese. “I’m happy to see my game at Stronghold Games next to a game that influenced my work a lot, Outpost. Stephen loved 504 from the first moment I showed it to him, so I believe my game is in good hands.”

Box Cover, Stronghold Games/English edition – “504” in “The Great Designer’s Series – #2”
Game Components – Map Tiles

 

Game Components – Shares

 

Game Components – Resources
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Stronghold Games Announces the Publication of “504”

I probably would have been happy with just 503 😉

Stronghold Games Announces the Publication of “504”Designed by Friedemann Friese 

“504” designated by Stronghold Games as Game #2 in its “The Great Designer Series”

New Jersey, USA – June 25, 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Stronghold Games is proud to announce the publication of “504″, a game designed by the renowned game designer Friedemann Friese, co-published with 2F-Spiele.

504 is a revolutionary concept in game design.  504 offers the game enthusiast 504 different games in a single box, achieving this via the use of nine game modules, which can be merged together to form 504 unique play experiences. The nine modules are Pick-up & Deliver, Race, Privileges, Military, Exploring, Roads, Majorities, Production, andShares.

In 504, players use the spiral bound “Book of 504 Worlds“, selecting three different modules in any order from the nine available, and thereby creating a unique “World”. For example, the selection of three modules for a World may create a game that is:

  • A racing game that expands through exploration with technology improving the racing or exploration (World “253”).
  • An 18XX-style stock game with network building for income and production sites to provide workers for the road building (World “968”).
  • A wargame with a pick-up and deliver economy and bonus scoring from majorities (“World 417”).

Thematically in 504, scientists in the future are able to build small alternate Earths. Exactly 504 such Earths have thus far been built. The scientists have programmed each of these Worlds with an individual set of laws and rules, which the inhabitants strictly follow and consider most important for their lives. These may be exploration, consumption, economics, military, etc., and each is unique. You can visit all of these 504 alternate Earths to experience how the people are living, and decide which of these worlds harbours the best civilization. On which World do you want to live?  Explore them all and decide!

Stronghold Games will release 504 as the second game in its new “The Great Designer Series”, which will highlight games from the best game designers in the world. 504 is designed by the renowned game designer Friedemann Friese, whose previous works include the acclaimed games Power Grid plus its many expansions, Friday, Fauna,Fearsome Floors, and many others. 

The release of 504 continues the commitment of Stronghold Games to partner with publishers globally, bringing their great games to North America and the rest of the world, as well as to continue to publish great euro-game designs.  504 follows the success of two smash-hit 2014 euro-games from Stronghold Games, Panamax andKanban: Automotive Revolution.  Stronghold Games recently announced Porta Nigra, by renowned game design team Wolfgang Kramer & Michael Kiesling, as the first game in its new “The Great Designer Series”, scheduled to be released later this year.

Stronghold Games will print 504 at Ludofact Germany, the leading printer of hobby games in the world. 504 has a tentative release date of November 2015. The MSRP for this game has not been set at this time. Stronghold Games will debut its English edition of 504 in October 2015 at the Essen Spiel in Germany.  Co-publishing partners for other language editions of 504 will be announced imminently by 2F-Spiele.

 

“This is a revolutionary game design for the hobby game industry,” said Stephen Buonocore, President of Stronghold Games. “It is an honor to be working with Friedemann Friese and his great company, 2F-Spiele, on such an ambitious and game-changing project.”

 

“My project 504 was not only hard work for 3.5 years, but it has been a dream of mine since I started to analyze game mechanics in the mid-90s”, said Friedemann Friese. “I’m happy to see my game at Stronghold Games next to a game that influenced my work a lot, Outpost. Stephen loved 504 from the first moment I showed it to him, so I believe my game is in good hands.”

Box Cover, Stronghold Games/English edition – “504” in “The Great Designer’s Series – #2”
Game Components – Map Tiles

 

Game Components – Shares

 

Game Components – Resources
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Board Game Jungle Looks at The Siblings Trouble

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