After another brief absence, I’m back with a solo play session of the very bleak but excellent This War Of Mine: The Board Game!
And we’re back after vacation, sickness, work-related insanity and injury! Lots of exciting stuff to talk about but let’s start with a Kickstarter Spotlight!
It seems like there has been an ever-increasing number of board games that are trying to introduce some form of education into their gameplay, whether it’s a serious attempt to teach a second language or a light way present a science at a very high level. This week’s Kickstarter Spotlight asks the questions: can fiscal responsibility be fun?
In Debtzilla players take the role of heroes who are not only attempting to save the city from financial super-villains who are trying to scam money out of the citizens but also must manage their cash flow so that they can purchase the necessary equipment to fight them. Debt can not only clog your hand if it’s not paid off, but it affects the power of Debtzilla, which everyone will need to face when the villains are gone. Debtzilla is a deckbuilding, tableau building and dice pool manipulation in a fun and strategic way and looks like a nice way to introduce the idea of debt management to younger players.
Here is the pitch video:
Airships have never really been done proper justice in the board game world. The only game I can really think of off the top of my head that used them as the main feature is Sky Traders and it didn’t really make great use of them. They could have been replaced with boats or trucks, and it still would have worked out well.
Avertigos arrives to elevate the genre with customizable miniature airships and combat that uses an elevation based mechanic to cement the flight mechanics with the theme. It also implements an impressive looking card based movement mechanic instead of measurements or templates. I also quite like the Asian influenced aesthetic, all too infrequent in the fantasy/sci-fi genres, in particular on the sea chart style game board. Based on the upgrades and backer tiers it seems like Avertigos might get a bit expensive overall but for such a unique theme and implementation the total cost would be worth it for the right gamer!
Here’s the pitch video here:
This week’s Kickstarter Spotlight is complete madness on mine carts. In ‘Off the Rails’ by Flippin’ Games, players lead a team of mining goblins as they collect gems from a rapidly collapsing cave. They ride in mine carts using rails that can be placed and changed by all players to help collect the treasures while derailing your opponents or even causing them to pitch themselves in the ever growing crevasse. Highly competitive with a unique randomization mechanic, I’m sure ‘Off the Rails’ will appeal to tabletop gamers of all ages!
Here’s the pitch video here:
Fantasy game villages really have it rough, don’t they? The town of Tinderbox has the great misfortune of having been built surrounding the Pyromancers University, whose experiments are constantly going awry and setting the buildings on fire. In ‘The Brigade’, it’s up to Tinderbox’s greatest heroes, not the idealistic adventuring kind, but the members of the village fire brigade, who all come from the same standard fantasy stock of humans, dwarves, elves, and orcs. You’ll pick your warden, manage your crew and water wagon while gaining the support of the townsfolk by saving their abodes and businesses.
I enjoy the idea of turning the fantasy tropes on their head. It seems very Discworld-ish to me in the best way possible. Looking forward to trying this one out!
Here’s the pitch video:
If you were to peruse my extensive collection of board games, there is one designer name that you would find more frequently than any other, and that would Vlaada Chvatil. The Czech board game designer has been a fixture of the community mostly for Through The Ages: A Story of Civilization which has consistently sat in the top 10 games on Boardgamegeek.com since its release. He is also well known for several other titles ranging from deep, epic experiences such as Mage Knight, to party games such as Codenames. His design philosophy of tightly marrying mechanics with the theme is evident in even the simplest of his games and has informed my preferences in game design. My first exposure to Vlaada’s work, however, was through another game, Galaxy Trucker, that remains my favourite and most played of his games to this day.
This week’s Kickstarter Spotlight is Visions, a game about a family troubled by a curse which the players, as ‘visionaries’, must resolve by connecting elements of the families past to gain the mental influence to overcome it. Players collect sets of time cards and play them on the board in order to link the family cards around it to the centre of the playing area. Doing so allows them to claim rewards that increase visionary energy, which opens up one-time bonuses such as playing fewer time cards, and vision stones, which are used to complete personal and master visions.
While I’m not a huge fan of the overall aesthetic and the manual certainly needs some work on the translation, the interesting theme and unique but simple game play mechanics are certainly very attractive as is the play mat that comes with the deluxe edition.
Well worth checking out!
Here’s the pledge video: