Slow down, you move too fast
You got to make the morning last
Just kicking down the cobblestones
Looking for fun and feelin’ groovy.
-Simon and Garfunkel, The 59th Street Bridge (Feelin’ Groovy)
The year is winding down, but theres always stuff to look at on Kickstarter. So let’s see what we can find this month. Times are in MDT and all funding information is accurate as of November 29.
Luna (Stefan Feld, Tasty Minstrel Games) was originally published in 2010 by Z-Man, then got picked up by TMG in 2015. Now it’s getting a new deluxified edition. From the Kickstarter description:
In Luna, the players will take on the role as a head of a priestly order. You will direct your followers to travel to mystical islands and partake in divine worship. They will work at the temple and create shrines to venerate their religious beliefs. With 14 different actions at your disposal, it would seem that the possibilities are endless, but as your opponents pass on their turns, your time to act will grow short! This makes Luna not only a deeply strategic experience, but a highly interactive one as well!
The original art by Klemens Franz has been retained, but you also get metal coins, silkscreened figures, and upgraded components. Luna is a game I’ve played and did enjoy, so check it out, won’t you? (Ends 11/30 @ 7:00 PM. Currently funded. $55 standard, $60 deluxified, $79 FULLY deluxified, estimated to arrive September 2019)
Pipeline (Ryan Courtney, Capstone Games) is a game about running an oil business. From the Kickstarter description:
The refinement of oil has long been part of the government-controlled energy sector. Amassed with an incredibly complex and inefficient system of refineries, the government has felt the severe pressures of worldwide demand and the ever-increasing global standards for refinement. Unable to keep up with the demand, the government only has one option: privatizing the oil industry. This is where you come in. Seeking to capitalize on this new opportunity, in Pipeline, you start a company in the oil business. You will focus on building a more efficient pipeline network in your refinery, hiring experts in their respective fields to provide valuable benefits over your competitors, as well as managing the logistics of purchasing and selling refined oil in the various markets to earn the most money in the game. You will need more than strong economic skills—carefully crafting an interweaving network of pipelines just might ensure your victory!
There’s a lot going on here – contracts, laying pipe, going to market, and so on. Capstone has a good reputation for bringing some pretty heavy games to the US market, and this is their first original game. Looking forward to seeing how well it does. (Ends 12/3 @ 7:00 PM. Currently funded. $49, estimated to arrive May 2019)
City of the Big Shoulders (Raymond Chandler III, Parallel Games) is an 18xx style game set in Chicago during the late 19th-early 20th centuries. From the BGG description:
After the great Chicago Fire of 1871, the brave men and women of Chicago sought to rebuild their once-great city, and rebuild it they did. Over the next 60 years Chicago experienced an economic golden age, making such great progress that it hosted The World’s Columbian Exposition in 1893, followed not long after by a celebration of its Century of Progress at The World’s Fair in 1933. Many of the household brands we’ve come to know and love today had their start in Chicago during this time period; Oscar Mayer, Kraft, Quaker Oats, Nabisco, Swift & Co, Armour & Co, Schwinn Bicycles, Charles Schwab, and many others made a home here in this tall, bold slugger. In City of the Big Shoulders players take on the roles of entrepreneurs and investors seeking to rebuild Chicago into a city fit for the world stage. In this unique merger of 18xx-style stock manipulation mechanics with euro-style gameplay, players start companies, trade in shares, hire employees, equip their factories, produce goods and sell them to be delivered to homes across the midwest.
I feel like I’ve been hearing about this game for a while. I’ve at least had my eye on it since last year’s Origins, and I’m glad it’s now getting to market. Looking forward to finding out more. (Ends 12/6 @ 8:00 AM. Currently funded. $59, estimated to arrive August 2019)
Big City (Franz-Benno Delonge, Mercury Games) first came out in 1999, and is getting a 20th anniversary jumbo edition. From the Kickstarter description:
In Big City, each player receives property cards and can use them to build all kinds of different buildings. The more adjacent properties you can connect, the more points you can score. You can earn even more points by making sure the best possible structures are next door to your new building – maybe it’s best not to build that new shopping mall next to the factory, but it would sure be wonderful next to a park. In this 20th Anniversary Jumbo Edition, we celebrate this famous game by making the building miniatures extra-detailed and JUMBO SIZED! With more than 60 structures to build among 8 modular neighborhoods, no two cities will ever be the same. It’s time to grow your small town into a BIG CITY!
This game has famously been out of print for a long time. I know Valley Games had the rights at some point. The release kept getting pushed back and back and back, and then they went belly-up and I had no idea if it would ever come out again. Mercury Games had great success with reprinting another of Delonge’s games (Container), and I’m looking forward to finally seeing this game I’ve heard about for about as long as I’ve been in the hobby. (Ends 12/13 @ 10:58 AM. Currently funded. $172 Canadian base game only, $198 Canadian with the expansion, estimated to arrive August 2019)
Q.E. (Gavin Birnbaum, Cubiko Games) first came out last year in a very limited wooden edition, and now is getting wider release. From the Kickstarter description:
QE takes place during the 2008 recession. Each player acts as a central bank. You are enacting “Quantitive Easing” (QE) measures to stimulate the economy. That just means you’ll be spending money to bail out companies. Since you represent a nation, there is no limit to what you can spend. You get a marker and a blank check. Write any number you want. At the end of the game, you will total up all your winning bids. Whoever paid the most total during the game loses. They are out. Then, the rest of the players score points based on collecting sets of companies, and the player with the most points wins.
Auction games very typically do nothing for me. But something about this one really appeals. Maybe it’s that the economy is entirely dependent on players, and not just some numbers made up by the designer. Maybe it’s how much of a social experiment this can end up being. It’s one I really want to play sometime, and have since I heard Heavy Cardboard championing it. (Ends 12/13 @ 10:59 PM. Currently funded. $34, estimated to arrive July 2019)
OTHERS TO WATCH
Reichbusters: Projekt Vril (Jake Thornton, Mythic Games) is a miniatures based cooperative board game set in the waning days of World War II. Except it’s kind of a over the top alternate pulp vision of the end of the war, with giant mechs, larger than life heroes, and hideous experiments gone wrong. It also has one of the most well-produced Kickstarter videos I’ve ever seen – I thought it was for a video game the first time I saw it. (Ends 11/30 @ 11:59 AM…so hurry up. Currently funded. $100, estimated to arrive November 2019)
Atlantis Rising (Galen Ciscell, Elf Creek Games) originally came out in 2012 from Z-Man Games, and is now back in a new edition with new art by Vincent Dutrait. It’s a cooperative worker placement game where players are trying to escape the sinking Atlantis. Which makes the title a bit weird. Players are trying to get tasks done quickly as the easier tasks happen on the parts of the island that will sink first. Looks like an interesting game. (Ends 11/30 @ 10:00 PM. Currently funded. $59, estimated to arrive August 2019)
Grind House (Jon Cohn, Everything Epic Games) is about a contest where players have to survive to win. Each player has a classic archetype with their own personal mission, but they also want to just want to be alive at the end of the game. There are five rooms, and if you have the most points when the final room is explored, you win. If you die, you can also win if no one else survives. Seems like a silly game with lots of treacherous possibilities. (Ends 12/1 @ 9:50 PM. Currently funded. $39, estimated to arrive May 2019)
Imagineers (Ken Franklin/Chris Leder, Maple Games) is a game about building an amusement park. You’re trying to attract visitors to your park through the construction of new attractions, and attempting to gain the greatest fame. I love amusement park themes for games. There’s been some debate as to whether or not the name constitutes some kind of copyright violation, but I think the worst that would happen is they rename it. (Ends 12/2 @ 9:55 PM. Currently funded. $40 Canadian, estimated to arrive August 2019)
Extraordinary Adventures: Pirates (Glenn Drover/Don Beyer, Forbidden Games) is a race game where players are following different tracks to Trinidad, plundering booty as they go. This is apparently the first in a series of Extraordinary Adventure games. I wonder where they’ll go next. (Ends 12/5 @ 11:58 AM. Currently funded. $49, $79 with minis, estimated to arrive August 2019)
Oak & Iron (Mike Tunez, Firelock Games) is a naval warfare miniatures game. And it’s not a miniatures game in that there are miniatures IN the game – this one is miniatures with measurement for movement and different scenarios to play. It looks beautiful, and if you’re into that type of game, it’s probably worth checking out. (Ends 12/5 @ 2:00 PM. Currently funded. $69, estimated to arrive October 2019)
Exploriana (Miles Ratcliffe, Team Exploriana) is all about exploring the world. You’ll be recruiting explorers and sending them out on missions to South America, Africa, and the Far East. When exploring these regions, you’ll simply be revealing cards and trying not to hit too many hazards. It’s very much a push-your-luck style game with some pretty art. (Ends 12/6 @ 3:07 AM. Currently funded. £23, estimated to arrive August 2019)
Flick Fleet (Jackson Pope/Paul Wilcox, Eurydice Games) is a space based dexterity combat game. You’re basically flicking dice at opposing ships, with results on the die showing what part of the ship got damaged with a hit. Seems like a good time. (Ends 12/8 @ 8:50 AM. Currently not funded. £27 standard, £45 deluxe, estimated to arrive June 2019)
Oddbods G0-Kards (Siddharth Jain, Playware Hobbies) is a racing game on a modular board. It has several different forms – for the kids version, it’s just a movement game. The family version gives you some special abilities, and the pro version adds power ups. The game is very colorful, and looks fun even though it’s got a weird title. (Ends 12/12 @ 7:00 AM. Currently funded. $41 Singapore [$30 US], estimated to arrive May 2019)
Ragusa (Fabio Lopiano, Braincrack Games/Capstone Games) is probably a game that will drive Tom Vasel insane – it actually uses the words “trading” and “Mediterranean” in its description. It’s about building the Italian city Ragusa up in the 15th century to rival Venice. The game looks very nice, and comes from the designer of Calimala. (Ends 12/15 @ 12:00 PM. Currently funded. £35, estimated to arrive August 2019)
Borders of Kanta (Lorne Kletke, Chinook Games) is a tile placement game where players are trying to surround different states on the board. Borders on each tile your place must match borders they are adjacent to, representing shared languages. Additionally, there are different action cards to play to help you place in spots you normally couldn’t. It’s a nice looking game that seems mostly abstract. (Ends 12/19 @ 8:00 PM. Currently funded. $49 Canadian, estimated to arrive June 2019)
Programming note – I’m about to head out on my traditional December hiatus, so you won’t be hearing much from me over the next few weeks. I’ll be back later in the month for my sixth annual post-holiday gift guide, and of course Kickstarter Blitz #60 is being released on December 28. Have a great holiday season, and thanks as always for reading!