Dec 312013
 

Kick The Box

December 30th Edition

Hello to all of the readers of this fine article. We are quickly approaching the end of the year and normally I am surfing Kickstarter looking for the games and game accessories that I and hope that you are excited to see come to life. Some are game changers, some are just pretty, and some are interesting in their own way.

Since I’ve started this weekly article back in July of this year, I have been given an opportunity to meet and chat with some great game and art designers, play tested some excellent games and have learned a lot in a short period of time and am grateful for all the people who have taken the time to email back and forth during their busy Kickstarter campaigns with interviews, sent me prototype of games for me to test and preview, and of course, all of my readers who have taken the time out of their busy gaming lives, even if it’s for only a few seconds or minutes, to read and comment on my posts.

This week I would like to do something a little different and look back at five games that I have personally backed and featured during my article and one that started this whole craze of Kickstarter for me. These are games that I can’t wait to tear open the wrapping, pop out the chits, marvel at it’s artwork, game design, and pour over the rules to learn and play these games.

There are three criteria that have befallen on my list today. One is that they had to be successfully funded. The second is that I personally had backed it, and the third is that I hadn’t received it yet. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to back every single game and accessory that I featured due to financial constraints, and than there are  some that didn’t meet their financial goals. Out of those that did meet the criteria of being successfully funded, and I hadn’t received yet, these are the ones I personally am most looking forward to.

(Side-note: There are five honorable mentions that don’t fall into this list since I already did receive them. These are  Dragon Caster, Canterbury, Star Realms, The Agents and Scott King’s 2014 Gaming CalendarIf I hadn’t received them already, they could be vying for the spots in my top five list.)

Agents of SMERSH Expansion

Project by: Jason Maxwell

I had heard and read a lot about both Agents of SMERSH and Tales of an Arabian Night. Both games sounded like an intriguing mix of story and board game that the enjoyment of the journey is as important, if not more so, than the end result. I was really intrigued by this affair and started doing some research about these games and if there were other games like it. (Other than RPG’s themselves)

At the time, after doing some research, I found both ToaAN(yes, it was just recently reprinted) and AoS were both hard to find. After keeping my ear to the ground for a short period of time,  I uncovered the rumblings of the expansion to Agents of SMERSH on Kickstarter and one of the pledge levels was for both the base game and the expansion.

I jumped on the chance and pledged for both. After the Kickstarter campaign, I emailed Mr. Maxwell to see if he would send me just the base game seperate or if I had to wait for the expansion to be printed and sent. He was kind enough for an extra $7 via Paypal to cover the shipping, to take the time out of his busy schedule to send me my copy of the Agents of SMERSH base game early!

With all this said, I’ve really enjoyed the spy theme of the base game and can’t wait to get my copy of the expansion!

Incredible Expeditions: Quest For Atlantis

Project by: Liz Spain

I am a sucker for eye candy artwork, board game companies that are started in the Pacific Northwest, and heavily theme/story games,  and this game has that and tons more going for it.

Liz Spain, creator of Incredible Expeditions: Quest for Atlantis resides in Seattle, Washington, only a couple hours from where I live  and has created a gorgeous deck drafting game dripping with a mix of Steampunk and Lovecraftian theme.

Be the first to gather your crew and resources in Port City and venture into the unknown lands, encountering traitors, dangerous monsters, and be the first to discover the lost world of Atlantis.

If you  missed this Kickstarter be on the lookout for it in your local FLGS in 2014.

Shadows Of Brimstone

Project by: Flying Frog Productions

Flying Frog Productions has done some great heavy themed games that I have thoroughly enjoyed. I found it both interesting and surprising when I saw them turn to Kickstarter to help with funding for their next game. I don’t know if they did this to test the reception of the newly created concept, a mix of classic western and Lovecraftian mythos style monsters, or if they just weren’t able to fund such a huge game on their own, even with their recognizable name in the gaming community, or maybe a little bit of both.

Well, I think it is easy to assume that they were pleasantly surprised with the results of their campaign. With over 4,700 backers and the dollar amount of pledges breaking the one million mark, it’s safe to say they have a hit on their hands just in pre-orders.

This is one game that easily resides in my top five of most anticipated games form Kickstarter in 2013. All I  have to say is:

Don’t fail us now Flying Frog Productions! =)

Journey: Wrath of Demons

Project by: Marrow Production

There probably is a trend being set as I go through my listing. I have mentioned before, and freely admit, that I have an infatuation with people’s ability to draw, color, coordinate any type of lines and shading that create pictures, moving and still, and are thought provoking and induce a feeling of aw and wonderment. I’m sure that this comes from the fact that I can’t draw a stick figure with a smiley face and have it convey any sort of feeling and a bit of jealousy that some people can draw two lines that convey more inspiration than Arargon’s speech to his troops. Now I’m not saying it has to be pretty to be a great game. (Suburbia, anyone?) or if it is pretty, that it is a great game (Looking at you Dark, Darker, Darkest!)

But all that aside, Journey: Wrath of Demons not only has some gorgeous art and minis available with it’s Kickstarter version of their board game, but it also derives it’s theme and story from a different source.  It’s based on a Chinese literary classic fantasy novel written by Wu Cheng’en, Journey to the West.

I can’t wait to see the final product and get a chance to traverse ancient China to defeat the Bull Demon King and his minions!

Fallen

Project by: Watchtower Games

One of my wife’s and I most anticipated delivery due in early 2014, is Watchtower Games Fallen. Fallen is a two player game set in a fantasy world with some interesting game mechanics. One person is the Dungeon Lord and the other plays as the Hero.

The game involves story cards that are broken into three sections on both sides of the card for a total of six sections. The first section has some flavor text to start the story. Than, the DL reads the heading of the two choices for the hero to decide what he/she wants to do. After the hero announces their choice, the Dungeon Lord, determined by the icon of the hero’s choice on the story card, tells the hero whether it is an agility, intelligence, or strength test.

Than depending on what the Dungeon Lord has for minions to use and  the special abilities and equipment the hero has will determine how many dice they can use for their skill check. The Dungeon Lord starts the roll off, trying to acquire as many swords as possible. Once he is done with his rolls and rerolls, than the Hero rolls his or her dice, trying to roll more swords than the dungeon lord has. Whoever has the most swords counted for, wins that round. You rinse and repeat through three story cards and than the final showdown between the Dungeon Lord and the Hero.

Experience can be gained by both the Dungeon Lord and Hero. With these points, you are able to invest into a skill tree to make gain more abilities and dice. Some of these story skill checks will have treasure on the line for the hero, or Omen cards for the Dungeon Lord to help them gear themselves up for the final showdown.

This is a great choose your own adventure story based dungeon crawl that I was so happy to be a part of the post Kickstarter campaign play testing. Can’t wait til this one is on my personal tabletop!

Xia: Legend of a Drift System

Project by: Far Off Games

Then there is Xia. This was not featured in any of my articles this past year only because I didn’t start writing Kick The Box until after Cody’s campaign had ended.

In fact, it wasn’t til I heard about Xia that I realized how many great games were coming off of Kickstarter and thus, the start of my  addiction of new tabletop games on Kickstarter. I would spend my down time scouring Kickstarter, searching for the latest shiny and pledging my hard earned cash to help someone else achieve their dream, in hopes for something grand in return. Some of these were from already established game companies and developers, and some were from new game designers with innovative ideas.

Xia is a 3- 5 player, moddable, ship flying, exploration tabletop game where you pilot your ship through the cosmos, discovering new sections of the hexagon shaped sections of the universe, partaking in missions for some hard cold cash, or just battling other ships in attempt to slow down your competitors or steal their valuable cargo. Outsmart and outmaneuver your opponents with only one thing in mind: Score enough Victory Points to become the Legend that everyone else aspires to be!

I hope there aren’t any delays, because I can’t wait til March to play this!

What games are you looking most forward to that you  backed but hadn’t received yet? Leave your comments down at the bottom of the  page and we will return next week to showcase some more exciting games and game accessories being showcased on Kickstarter.

Everyone have a happy and safe New Year!

Cheers!

About Jason Hancock

Ever since my early childhood I've had a love for card and board games.I am now married with two children that have moved out of the house and on to their own lives. This new phase of life has rekindled the old passion of tabletop gaming and lucky enough to have a wife who enjoys it also.

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