Kickstarter Blitz #11

Hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving.  Let’s take a look at some current Kickstarter projects (12 this time):


image by BGG user chaddyboy_2000
image by BGG user chaddyboy_2000

I Hate Zombies (Kevin Wilson, BoardGameGeek) is the first microgame produced by BGG, the world’s largest board gaming site.  This is a 2-12 player game in which some players are humans, and others are zombies.  There are 13 cards in the game, and one will be dealt to each person.  The dealer plays rock-paper-scissors with the player on his/her left, and the loser (plus every second player in turn order) becomes a zombie.  Each zombie, in turn order, will take turns attacking one of the humans next to them. This is accomplished by playing rock-paper-scissors, with the loser becoming wounded (tracked by rotating your character card).  A human with two wounds becomes a zombie.  A zombie with three wounds is killed and eliminated from the game.  The zombies want to turn everyone into zombies, in which case they all win (except for the human that caused the downfall of humanity).  The surviving humans win if they kill all zombies.

I find it highly amusing that BGG has made over $20,000 basically selling rock-paper-scissors to people.  Yes, it’s an $8 game, and yes, there are cards.  But the basic mechanism is RPS.  The humans all have special abilities, which makes it a little more interesting.  But it’s RPS!  It’s probably a lot of fun, and it’s nice to see Kevin Wilson (formerly of Fantasy Flight) back with new designs.  I think we’ll be seeing a lot more of him in 2015.

  • End Date: December 2 @ 9:00 PM CST
  • Goal: $20,000 (funded)
  • Estimated Delivery: June 2015
  • To Get a Game: $8
image by BGG user feeleash
image by BGG user feeleash

Raid & Trade (Malte Kühle/Charalampos Tsakiris, MAGE Company) is a game set in a post-apocalyptic future where players are trying to become the best survivor in order to enter The Golden City.  The game is played on a board consisting of nine large tiles.  At the beginning of each round, you choose the event for the round (from two possibilities).  On your turn, you can move and take one action.  You have a total of 15 action points to spend in the round, and you can use them to move, raid buildings, attack another player, attack an outpost, craft items, trade, test new medicine, or work for credits.  The first player to reach 20 skill points, complete three secret objectives, or get the most possible character points is the winner.

The rules aren’t up for this game yet, but that hasn’t slowed down its progress.  The images of the stuff in this game look really cool – very nice miniatures, good art, custom dice, and an interesting theme that thankfully doesn’t include zombies.  I think I’d be interested to play this one.

  • End Date: December 4 @ 3:59 AM CST
  • Goal: $15,000 (funded)
  • Estimated Delivery: June 2015
  • To Get a Game: $50
image by BGG user W Eric Martin
image by BGG user W Eric Martin

DragonFlame (Matt Loomis, Minion Games) is a card game where you are trying to become the most notorious dragon in the land.  A 3×3 grid of village cards are placed in the center of the table, and a line of castles equal to the number of players plus one is laid out.  Players take turns playing cards onto castles, and then attacking one of the castles.  All cards on the castle you attacked become your hoard.  If there were DragonFlame cards in your hoard, you put some fire tokens on villages.  The game ends when there is only one card left in the deck.  You then score – villages that were completely burned down score points for dragons who participated there, and treasures all score different amounts of points (there are curses for negative points as well).  The player with the most points wins.

This seems like a pretty light game with some good strategy in card placement.  Some cards will be played face up, others will be played face down, so there’s a bit of luck pushing going on.  Treasures work differently from each other in how they score points – statues only score if you only have one of a type, artifacts give you special abilities, etc.  It looks like an interesting take on set collection, and worth checking out.

  • End Date: December 4 @ 10:00 PM CST
  • Goal: $10,000 (funded)
  • Estimated Delivery: July 2015
  • To Get a Game: $25
image by BGG user by ashpyne
image by BGG user by ashpyne

oddball Aeronauts 2 (Nigel Pyne, maverick muse) is a sequel to the successfully Kickstarted oddball Aeronauts, which funded back in March.  This can either be used as an expansion that extends what was originally a two-player game to one for three- or four-players, or it can be played as a standalone two-player game.  The main gimmick of the game is that is requires no table space – the whole thing is played in your hand.  The rules have not changed all that much from the original (other than three- and four-player rules), so I’m not going into them here – I talked about them back in Kickstarter Blitz #2.  Two new factions have been added – Mechinauts and Free Kingdoms – so you can have some different battles.  The original actually delivered a couple of months early, which is almost unheard of with Kickstarter projects, so go check it out if you’re interested.

  • End Date: December 5 @ 3:09 PM CST
  • Goal: £11,111 (unfunded)
  • Estimated Delivery: June 2015
  • To Get a Game: £12
image by BGG user Nykeloc
image by BGG user Nykeloc

Dungeon Escape (Anthony Tunis,  Twizz Entertainment) is a Memory-style game with a fantasy twist.  Each player gets a hero, and an 18 card deck is dealt out into a 6×3 face down grid.  Player take turns flipping two cards, trying to find a match.  If you match two battle cards, you attack your opponent.  Each player rolls three dice and applies any applicable hero abilities.  If the attacker wins, he steals a match from his opponent.  If the defender wins, play continues.  Whoever has the most matches at the end is the winner, and you can play a series to find the ultimate winner (best of three, or whatever).

The art in this game looks pretty cool, but the gameplay seems quite simplistic.  It is Memory, after all.  The addition of the fantasy theme makes it a little more adult, but it still seems like a kid’s game.  If that appeals to you, check it out.

  • End Date: December 5 @ 11:00 PM CST
  • Goal: $6,000 (funded)
  • Estimated Delivery: March 2015
  • To Get a Game: $19
image from Kickstarter project page
image from Kickstarter project page

Glory & Riches / Zero Day (Patrick Lysaght/Andy van Zandt, Jolly Roger Games) is actually two games in one project, which you can back separately or together.  Glory & Riches is a area control/resource management game set in medieval times.  You collect resources and use them to build, then purchase units that can go to work in your buildings or attack your neighbors.  The winner is the first one to capture three capital cities.  Zero Day, on the other hand, is a game about hackers trying to gain control of a Mainframe that is threatening to overwhelm humanity.  Throughout the game, you’re writing programs and running them, trying to be the first to gain control.

This is an odd pairing of games, and I don’t know exactly why Jolly Roger chose to package them like this.  They could not be more different thematically.  Jolly Roger has done some good work in the past, but this one isn’t taking off at all.  You don’t have to get both games if you don’t want, or you could add other Jolly Roger games to your order.  We’ll see if it catches on in the next week, but I doubt it.

  • End Date: December 7 @ 10:01 AM CST
  • Goal: $10,000 (unfunded)
  • Estimated Delivery: March 2015
  • To Get a Game: $35 for either, $50 for both
image by BGG user MylesONeill
image by BGG user MylesONeill

Dragon Racer (Luke English/Myles O’Neill, Thyalacine Games) is a card draft game about, well, racing dragons.  In the beginning, you create a track made of 10 track cards, and each player gets a character plus three dragons.  In each round of the game, a track card will be flipped, which reveals a color and adds more dragon cards to the dragon deck.  In the card draft phase, you’ll be dealt a hand of cards, and will choose one to keep, passing the rest.  You’ll do this until all cards have been kept.  You then reveal your cards in turn order and either use them to support your dragons or use their abilities.  If you have enough support for a dragon, it moves forward on the track.  After seven turns, the player who is furthest along on the track is the winner.

This game looks very nice.  It’s all cards, but the art looks good and the game sounds like an interesting take on drafting – generally, drafting is used in games where you’re building points rather than racing, so that’s a refreshing change.  The game has already funded, and is doing pretty well, so go check it out if interested.

  • End Date: December 11 @ 12:00 AM CST
  • Goal: $3,000 AUD (funded)
  • Estimated Delivery: August 2015
  • To Get a Game: $29 AUD
image by BGG user ScottE
image by BGG user ScottE

Black Hat (Tomas Klausner/Timo Multamäki, Dragon Dawn Productions) is a trick-taking board game where players are hackers, Black Hats who get a thrill out of trying to break into secure systems.  You are dealt a hand of cards (one of which may be the Black Hat).  One player plays one or more cards of the same rank, then other players follow by playing one or the same number of cards.  The player who played the same number of cards as the leader and of a higher rank wins the trick, and must advance their token on the board, advance an opponent in a negative host, or draw a new card.  A round ends when one or more players are out of cards, and you gain points based on your board position.  If a pawn makes it to the Critical Asset tile or no pawn can move, the game ends and the lowest score wins.

I like trick-taking games, and I’m always interested to here about those making the transition to board games (Krakow 1325 AD is the only other one that springs to my mind).  Your pawn’s position on the board can give you extra stuff to do, which is nice.  The theme is…well, cyberpunk is big lately, so here’s another one.  Take a look if you’re interested.

  • End Date: December 11 @ 12:00 PM CST
  • Goal: €6,000 (unfunded)
  • Estimated Delivery: August 2015
  • To Get a Game: €40
image by BGG user modmouse
image by BGG user modmouse

Captain’s Wager (Jonathan Hager, Grey Fox Games) is a bluffing game with a steampunk pirate theme.  Each round is broken up into three encounters, and in each encounter, players ante one card from their treasure deck.  You then choose to bet, borrow, or steal.  If you bet, you play a card face up and execute its effect, also adding a treasure card to the pool.  If you borrow, you play a card and take a loan token.  If you steal, you lay down your cards and take coins plus an item from the treasure deck.  After everyone has played, compare the values of the cards.  The highest card wins the encounter.  Ties mean no one wins.  At the end of the round, players split the pot if a different individual won each encounter, or one player will win the whole thing if he won 2-3 encounters.  If at least one player runs out of treasure cards by the end of the round, the game ends, and the player with the most treasure wins.

This game looks pretty fun.  The card play mechanism looks good, and I can see this being a good hand management type of game as you try to win enough to get a share of the booty.  This is one I’ll be looking forward to seeing when it comes out.

  • End Date: December 14 @ 4:00 PM CST
  • Goal: $5,000 (funded)
  • Estimated Delivery: August 2015
  • To Get a Game: $18
image by BGG user ckirkman
image by BGG user ckirkman

New Bedford (Nathaniel Levan, Dice Hate Me Games) is a game about the whaling industry of the 1800s, specifically in the town of New Bedford, Massachusetts.  It’s a worker placement game, and players take turns placing two workers per round in various buildings, immediately taking the associated action.  In the movement phase, players move their ships towards the return space, and must either pay to receive the whales they have collected (plus their points), or sell them for cash (which can be used to receive other whales).  In the whaling phase, whale tokens are drafted in order of your position on the whaling track.  After 12 rounds, the game is over and the player with the most points is the winner.

I can see this being a very controversial theme. However, I’m of the opinion that ignoring history is not the way to go – whaling was a big part of the culture in towns like New Bedford, and though we have the benefit of history now to know that wasn’t such a good idea, it is good to start the discussion.  It’s like the inclusion of slaves in games, or playing out certain war scenarios.  History is not always pretty.  This game is a risk, to be sure, but that’s what Kickstarter is there for.  Dice Hate Me has a really good track record for their productions, so I’m sure this one will be successful.  I’m also making it my PICK OF THE MONTH.

  • End Date: December 14 @ 10:59 PM CST
  • Goal: $30,000 (unfunded)
  • Estimated Delivery: August 2015
  • To Get a Game: $40
image by BGG user mechanical fish
image by BGG user mechanical fish

Artifacts, Inc. (Ryan Laukat, Red Raven Games) is an archaeology themed game where players are trying to become the most famous adventurer of all time.  On your turn, you roll a number of dice as indicated by your adventurer card.  These dice may then be placed on different cards to determine what actions you can take – gain an artifact, purchase new asset cards, upgrade asset cards, sell artifacts to museums or private collectors, gain money, or gain an underwater card.  When a player reaches 20 reputation and everyone has had the same number of turns, the game is over and the player who ends up with the most reputation wins.

I like archaeology as a theme, and I’m always interested to see how people integrate it.  Here, it seems to be mostly set collection with some money management.  It also has a good deal of luck since there’s not much you can do with your rolls other than place them out.  That uncertainty is a common trait in good archaeology games like Thebes. Ryan Laukat has a pretty good reputation as a designer from games like Eight Minute Empire, City of Iron, and Empires of the Void.  This game looks to be a pretty good, light game for his catalog.

  • End Date: December 15 @ 12:57 PM CST
  • Goal: $10,000 (funded)
  • Estimated Delivery: August 2015
  • To Get a Game: $22
image by BGG user W Eric Martin
image by BGG user W Eric Martin

Funemployed (Anthony Conta, IronWall Games) is notable for being the first commercial release from Rob Daviau’s IronWall Games studio (the first game, Viking Funeral, was a free print-n-play).  It’s also the second edition of the game, first published by Urban Island Games.  This is a party game in which players are dealt a hand of four cards – this is your resumé.  The top card of the Job deck is flipped over, and players have about a minute to figure out how they want to present their resumé.  You then pitch yourself, and the employer (judge) decides who gets the job.  You keep switching employers until you reach the card that says “My Job.”  At this point, everyone applies to the current employer’s real job.  The player who has gotten the most jobs wins.

The twist in this game is that you have four cards in hand that you must play in the round.  You must play all of them – you don’t just pick the best, you have to put together a good pitch with all of them.  The game is probably still prone to the fault of Apples to Apples (it’s inherently subjective and very easy to game the system to prevent people from winning), but as an activity, it looks like fun to me.

  • End Date: December 18 @ 9:00 PM CST
  • Goal: $12,000 (funded)
  • Estimated Delivery: June 2015
  • To Get a Game: $29

And so ends another edition of the Blitz.  I may take December off from doing this – it depends on whether or not any projects jump out at me in the next month.  Thanks for reading!

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4 comments

  1. I’m curious what you think about the Biblios Dice game on kickstarter? I really enjoy the normal version of Biblios… so I’m definitely interested.

    • Well, I didn’t know about it until just now. But I’m probably a bad person to ask since I didn’t really care for the original. I enjoyed divvying up the stuff in the first half, but the game just completely fell apart for me when it got to the auctions. Sorry I can’t be much help there.

  2. You might actually like the Bibilos Dice version better… it plays much different than the original. You’d probably like the auction much better as it’s more non-traditional and also doesn’t play as big a part in the final outcome. Personally I love auction games (Power Grid, Vegas Showdown, Ra, etc..) and the auction in Biblios is no exception. I love trying to mislead my opponents into thinking I’m going for different colors than I really am, or just starving them of any information, and then sweeping up the win in the auction round before they know what I’m up to.

    • It’s possible, but I’m not that anxious to try it out. Presented with the opportunity, I probably wouldn’t say no, but I’m still predisposed against auctions, so it might have an uphill battle to convince me.

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