Published on June 3rd, 2013 | by Luke Turpeinen
June 2013 Kickstarter Updates
Kickstart Your Life
If you like board games, chances are you already know about all of the awesome projects on Kickstarter. If you don’t know what Kickstarter is, go check it out! Kickstarter is basically a way for creators to get funding for projects without having to get loans from banks or resort to convincing venture capitalists that their business will make them a lot of money. As far as board game Kickstarter projects go, typically you pledge a certain amount to a campaign and that amount goes towards your purchase of the product as well as shipping. Pledges are not limited to the various reward tiers, and over-pledging is possible if you would like to give more money than the creator is asking for, though this is not necessary or expected.
In what will be a monthly Spotlight column, I am going to go over a list of Kickstarter projects I’m currently keeping an eye on. The items are actually ranked by order of how interested I’ve been in them, with the more engaging ones at the top. You know, in case you needed any more of my opinion secreted into this article.
Euphoria by Stonemaier Games
Help build a better dystopia in this new dice-placement game by the makers of Viticulture! Euphoria takes the worker-placement genre of games in a different direction by giving your workers the chance to rebel if they ever realize that they’re living in horrible conditions. The art work is amazing and the rules looks solid, this is one that I’m proud to have already backed.
Canterbury by Quixotic Games
This is a game for people who like non-random, spread-sheet level optimization for their board games. Canterbury looks like it provides a rich Agricola-esque board gaming experience with a city building theme. Players in Canterbury are all building the same city, establish infrastructure and levying taxes to further their own influence in the area. What caught my eye here is that the game has a mechanic that makes it easier for players who are lagging behind to catch up based on how well the best players are doing. A simple gameplay addition like that opens up playability of the game to those who don’t memorize best combinations for opening moves, a great strategy.
Princes of the Dragon Throne by Clever Mojo Games
Though it’s hard to tell from the Kickstarter page, this game is actually made by the same company that does the extremely well regarded Alien Frontiers board game. Clever Mojo seems to have done it again, combining predictable gameplay mechanics into new and interesting forms. This time it seems that they have made deck building a sub-mechanic of their area control game, with a fantasy theme. Though the components my look like weird LEGO knock offs, the gameplay videos are impressive and I’ll for sure want to play Princes of the Dragon Throne in the future.
Xia: Legends of a Drift System by Far Off Games
It is odd that the idea of “dungeon crawling” as a board game type has always been tied to the fantasy genre. In one way that makes sense, as the theme fits fantasy more than anything else. But what would happen if you take the mechanical ideas from that and gave it a totally different theme? Xia does this by turning the model into a space exploration game, with each player in control of an upgradeable spaceship that uses an interesting Tetris-like inventory/upgrade method. The creator also promises to give all creation files, including 3D models to the community to do as they wish, including 3D printing out your own mods for the game. Awesome!
Berserk: War of the Realms by Hobby World USA
This game is actually really popular in Russia, has been in print for 10 years, and is just now getting a release to English-speaking audiences. Berserk is a wargame that uses cards instead of minis, in the tradition of Summoner Wars or Warlord, the Alderac Entertainment CCG. There are six colors/factions, and while pretty standard, the art is evocative and the rules seem engaging. The base set comes with six pre-made decks and the upgrade (only $10 more) gives you enough neutral and multi-color cards to really mix and match the pre-mades any way that you’d like.
Kingdom by Ben Robbins
The maker of the amazing world-building story game Microscope is at it again with his newest creation. In Kingdom players represent different forces in a community, any community, and then roleplay their way through a story of their creation. If this is anything like Microscope then look forward to some great guidance in the rule book with some very bendable rules that let you customize your story-telling experience however you’d like.
Exalted, Third Edition by Onyx Path
Oh Exalted, our history together could be described in terms familiar to anyone in a dysfunctional relationship. Passionate bouts of lovemaking interspersed with long periods of drought, resentment and sniping remarks have been the hallmarks of our years together. Maybe this $110 leather bound, gold leaf edition is what I need to get us back in the black. Only time will tell.
The Chuubo’s Marvelous Wish-Granting Engine RPG by Jenna Moran
I have been into underground/alt RPGs for a while now. Looking for bizarre mechanics and settings is kind of an obsession for me and over the years I have found plenty of both. One of the RPGs that did weird things most successfully has been Nobilis, also written by the wonderful Jenna Moran (then known as Rebecca Borgstrom). I’m not sure I’m the target demographic for this book, but it should be interesting at least.
OVA: The Anime Role-playing Game by Clay Gardner
In a world full of specialty roleplaying games, OVA has stood out as one that did things right. While it was never my favorite system, it was at least as good at portraying anime-logic and tropes as BESM (the more popular of the anime RPGs). Now that OVA is getting a new book, a new layout, updated rules and full-color art I think that it’s time to re-explore that subgenre of role-playing. The author has released free downloads of pre-made characters with all the rules players need to join in, and buy-in for the digital and print versions is lower than most other RPG Kickstarters out there. Definitely worth a look at any rate.
Giant 2 Inch Soft Foam Polyhedral Dice by Minion Games
Exactly what it says on the tin. Do you like D&D style dice? Do you like them to be large, foam and soft? Well then, you might like these.
WarGods of Olympus by Crocodile Games
To be honest I didn’t even read any of the rules to this game and I am really not the person to be interested in a small-scale minis wargame- I’m sure this is a great game, it’s just not my thing. So why do I mention it? Well, take a look at those sculpts. These are probably the best Ancient Greek style minis sculpts I’ve ever seen! If you’re looking for just the minis they even have a reward tier just for you.
HEX- the MMOTCG by Cryptozoic
Cryptozoic has a remarkably good track record, especially considering its history. From its origins as “that company that took over the WoW TCG” to its current run of really amazing card games, they have consistently delivered quality products. Now it looks like they’re getting into the digital card game market in an attempt to compete with Acti-Blizzard’s new Hearthstone and Wizard of the Coast’s Duel of the Planeswalkers.