Roll Player by Thunderworks Games is a wonderful fantasy themed dice placement game that centers around the d20 rpg character creation found in games like Dungeons and Dragons. It was a fantastically unique game and loved by many fans of the genre. The company has just accounced 2 new games that will share this universe. These will be known as "Roll Player Tales".
The first is Lockup: A Roll Player Tale by Dice Hospital designer Stan Kordonskiy. It is a worker placement game that takes place in a fantasy prison, in lockup, 2-5 players will need to assign members of their gang to sections of this prison and collect resources, all while avoiding the drawing the focus of the guards. After 6 rounds, the most powerful game wins.
The second game is Cartographers: A Roll Player Tale, a "Roll and Write" game by designer Jordy Adan. Players will fill in a map sheet according to Exploration cards. Theses cards have polyomino shapes and terrain types for the players to draw each round. Scoring cards will dictate what will score and how much. The winner will be the player with the most points after 4 seasons.
Azul is a abstract stratetgy game where players take turns drafting colored tiles from supplies in the middle of the board to aquire the most points before the end of the game. And when it comes to elevator pitches this game takes the cake because well, there isn't much else to the game. Now does that make it a bad game? Well lets find out.
In Azul, you will be taking turns and trying to build up your own personal tablau, the sequence in which you place these tiles will determine the points you recieve and the decisions you make in the drafting phase will sometimes (against your wishes) set you backwards as excess tiles fall to the floor and take away from your total score.
There are stategic descions you can make in the game however I have found the more players are in the game the less impact your decision has on them, now this isn't necessarily a negative or a positive, it just is what it is.
What I do love about Azul is the simplicity in its mechanics, as a person with family that are both interested, yet hesitant to play games with too many rules its a breathe of fresh air for them when I can bring them a game and say "Oh you just take a tile and score points". Now this doesn't mean Azul is a simple game, no no, there are descisions to be made every turn that can send you leaps and bounds in either direction.
Another key part of Azul is the beauty of tiles themselves, they are gorgeous and vibrant colours that catch your eye and are an absolute delight to play with. They are both visually and tactfully appealing and one of the best, yet simplists components I have found in a game.
While this might be nitpicking, the one downfall I have found in Azul is the abruptness of the ending, Once a horizontal row is complete, the game ends and points are tallied. Maybe I am just expecting too much from my games but when the scoring does little to hide who is in front it can become rather stale to tally up the scores when you are almost a certainty to of come last. Like I said, this is a nitpick, this game is brilliantly simple and for good reason.
Overall Azul is the deserved winner of last years Spiel des Jahres. This game goes right on my shelf next to other great gateway games like Carcassonne and Settlers of Catan as the perfect game for introducing people who may not be the most excited about the board gaming hobby. I would highly recommend this game for any collection.
We love recieving emails from people who are making new and exciting games and want to have their game found in the big sea that is kickstarter. Here at OBG we are happy to help where we can. Wesley Woodbury, the designer of the new game Legends of Novus reached out for an interview and we were happy to ablige!
Q. What is Legends of Novus?
A. Legends of Novus is a tabletop fantasy boardgame, it puts 1-5 players into a “sandbox” gaming atmosphere where they are free to travel to world as they see fit. Their goal is to find equipment, skills, and events to help them defeat the encounters and Quest Creatures of the world to become a Legend of Novus. The first player to earn 25 experience points and defeat a Quest Creature is named the winner.
Q. How many types of play styles are there?
A. There are currently three types. The primary design is based on 2-5 players acting independantly of one another in a race to become the first Legend of Novus. Often their decisions will impact other players abilities and choices.. The second style is team play, where two teams of two players can pair up against one another, thus making it the first team to accomplish the goal. The third style is Solo play, where one player has a goal of defeating three Quest Creatures before 15 turns elapse (and a secondary win is possible if they win before 20 turns elapse).
There is a fourth mode of play being tested, which is full co-operative play. This would allow 2-5 players to explore Novus in an effort to destroy all of the Quest Creatures.
Q. What makes this game different than other fantasy board games?
A. There are a few things that help identify Legends of Novus to be a different type of game:
The open concept world does not dictate where or when players have to travel to. There is not a specific path to go on, which makes player choice extremely relevant to their success or failure in the game.
The visual character boards allow for placement of full poker size cards. Many other games use mini cards, or don’t have a set way to place acquired items. With these boards you can visually see where to place each card, and have set limitations on quantities of items for each body part. The board is dual layer, including a Combat tracker and XP tracker right on the board.
The variability is quite extensive, as each main character class can branch out into four different advance classes, for a total of 20 different evolutions of characters.
The fantasy art is incredible for this game. It has a serious fantasy tone, not the comical, cartoony, or digital look that you may have seen in similar themed games. The artists, Andrea Butera and Boris Turano (landscapes) are very talented and have placed a lot of time and effort into making this a very immersive and beautiful game.
Q. Why are miniatures not included in the game?
A. Miniatures are a very expensive game component, particularly for a new game publisher. The goal of this game is to get players a great game experience, in an immersive world, with amazing art. Those goals will be attained without using miniatures. There are many games out there that include minis, that aren’t really essential to the gameplay experience. If FunDaMental Games creates a game with minis in the future, it will be because they are required for gameplay purposes.
Q. What will the funds from Kickstarter be used for?
The funds generated from this Kickstarter will be used to manufacture the game in China, then ship to a distribution company. Funds are also needed to compensate the artist, and cover some of the costs of advertising and showing this game to the world. At the minimum funding level there is actually a net loss for the company, it would only be at 1,000 or more backers/games produced that the game would be come somewhat profitable. The purpose of this game is not to generate a bunch of money, it is to create a great base game for the world of Novus, with the potential to evolve into expansion packs or full game add ons and sequels in the future.
Q. What will happen if the game does not fund this time around?
FunDaMental games is determined to bring Legends of Novus to the gaming community. It has been in development for quite some time, but there is some realization that further preview copies may be required to share with the well known game reviewers/podcasters/youtubers of the world to give it some higher level exposure. Once that is done, then the game would relaunch later in the year with a renewed effort (and some core backers that originally supported it this time around).
Q. Where can people reach you if they have questions?
A. Almost anywhere! The Kickstarter itself can be followed for just $1, where you can see all of the comments and updates as they occur. The website, legendsofnovus.com, is easy to navigate and will show you much of the games great art already produced. Links to twitter, facebook, and instagram are available as well.
Everyone has a game, they just don't know it!
When I tell people I have a lot of games, they either think I mean a big box in the cupboard, or something of that nature. It isn't until they walk into my house and see my walk in kitchen cabinet over taken with games (Yes we are between bookshelves!). At one point I saw it as an obsession, something to be ashamed of, I would down play my urges to buy more, and though I think this is wise, I was forgetting why I love board games in the first place.
For me, board games aren't just an outlet for the nerdy and shutin, but rather an opportunity for families and friends to connect on a deeper level, to turn off the TV and put down the iPhones and really engage with each other. One of the biggest hurdles I have found in trying to introduce more games to my life is when we spend time with people that don't understand the concept. There are many people who view games as something that isn't for them, something for people that like puzzles and can't turn off their brain.
What I have realised over the years is that games aren't just for those kinds of people, but for everyone. I am of the belief that everyone has a game, they just havn't found it yet. We have been having regular game nights with some close friends of ours that we never envisioned would enjoy games, but low and behold, they have been the most excited and adventurous of any I have played with.
My game collection isn't just for me to store away and collect dust, but to be a library for my friends and family to come and enjoy. What is your collection like? Do you just keep games you like yourself or do you have something that fits any kind of person, I love having a collection of the later, It has allowed me to open up so many people to the joy of the hobby.
Are you an avid Ultimate Werewolf Moderator? Have you ever wished you had some kind of tool to help you when the amount of players gets unruely? Or maybe you keep running out of paper and are sick of killing trees (inbetween killing villagers and werewolved).
I have a website I have created to help make moderating in Ultimate Werewolf easier, It is currently in Beta as it is not perfect but has gone through some improvements based on suggestions by friends and the BGG community, I would love you guys to give it a go and let me know any recommendations/features/bugs so I can continue to improve it.
Take a look over at https://werewolftoolkit.com/ (It does require a login, this is to make sure players and such are associated with a user)
Board Legends is raising funds for Champions of Nexum on Kickstarter! MOBA inspired board game
Champions of Nexum is one of the examples that show, where modern Kickstarter is heading. The board game follows a common trend of unusual gaming-related projects dominating the platform. Platform that was back in the day seen mainly as a way to promote gadgets and technology.
The board game got funded within 4 hours and quickly reached amounts usually collected by high profile projects, while keeping the momentum steadily afterwards. How to explain this? There was really no special recipe used, just lots of preparations and testing. During the 3 years long development cycle the amount of test sessions reached over a 1000. Authors toured Poland and other places in Europe, and kept heavily modifying the game according to feedback received.
So what kind of game is Champions of Nexum? There’s one word, that comes to mind here: “MOBA”. Multiplayer Online Battle Arenas, a genre of video games, have inspired tabletop game creators for a while. Majority of efforts, including these by huge players in the market, felt lacking though. Making the battle of 2 teams, who each try to wipe out their rivals’ castle, into something fun offline, was quite the challenge. What Champions of Nexum does differently is its focus on replicating the tempo and emotions usually found in MOBA games. Rules allow for fast matches, no longer than 60-90 minutes, or even shorter when everyone is familiar with the manual.
At first: everyone picks a hero, either by choosing their favourites or by drafting. Next: players form teams and begin marching against each other. Most areas have special actions available on them. These might include exploring jungles, walking the roads while trying to avoid trouble, fighting monsters to get magical crystals and so on. Crystals come in different colours and are used to complete quests - important when you want to progress through the map and compete effectively. To add replayability and allow for a wider choice of tactics, players can buy spells and gain equipment to further power up and personalize their heroes.
Talking about heroes: the miniatures seem to be one of the main factors drawing people to the campaign. Their design is a reminder of classic dungeon crawler RPGs, with a dash of cartoonish style, found in major video game MOBAs. Adding a bunch of monsters: winged, fanged and spiky, creates a world that feels threatening, but has that dash of adventure, people look for when it comes to entertainment. The detail on the minis is worth commending: from tiny belts, spikes and feathers to ornaments decorating shields and weaponry.
New Game: Disney Villainous
The worst takes it all
In this epic contest of sinister power, take on the role of a Disney Villain and strive to achieve your own devious objective. Discover your character’s unique abilities and winning strategy while dealing twists of fate to thwart your opponents’ schemes. Find out who will triumph over the forces of good and win it all!