Sep 222015


Airship Challenge is a race game for 2-6 players, ages 8+ and takes 20-30 minutes to play.


The Year – 1899. The challenge – Your tandem team of dirigibles, racing through canyons, valleys and the open air, must field at least one airship that is the first across the finish line. It’s the first ever Airship Challenge!

Players are owners of Dirigible Manufacturers in this grand age of steam from an 1899 that never was! To highlight the latest in steam technology and lighter than air travel you have organized the first annual Airship Challenge.

How Airship Challenge 1899 Works

Got to run my first live game of Airship Challenge 1899! Of course I immediately changed some of the rules and we restarted. It was a 2 player game, me against my 9 year old (who won in the end). I also only had to scratch out 50% of the text on 1 of the tokens, which may be a new record for me in the first live playing of any game I’ve designed.


Each Owner has ships represented by colored pawns. Each player has 2 ships in their fleet. One player should take all of the ships in their hand, shake up the pawns and grabbing them randomly one by one place them in a line on the table. The first pawn on the table represents the pole position to start off the race.

Each player then places one Minor Tail Wind token in front of them. This creates the beginning of the race conditions in your game.

Place the rest of the 48 hexagon tokens into the bag, and shake it vigorously. Then the first player draws two tokens for every player, plus one extra token. (Tokens could also be hexed shaped cards)

These tokens are placed on the table where they are easily reached by everyone. The player to the left of the first player begins the draft by picking 1 token and placing it face down in front of them. The draft goes around the table until every player has 2 tokens. The last remaining token is put back in the bag.

These initial tokens form your hand of 2 tokens. At the start of the game, savvy players will know what each other player has in their hands. Your hands however will change rapidly during the game and it’s up to each player to decide which of the three race conditions in their hands they’ll encounter.

The first player then begins the game by drawing 1 new token from the bag. After looking at this token, they then choose one of the tokens in their hand and play it. Tokens must always be played touching at least one other token. When that token’s action is revealed, it triggers every other token it is also touching. Tokens triggered in this way do NOT trigger other tokens they are touching.


In this way, each player can trigger between two and five tokens on their turn. They may trigger these in any order they choose but they must carry out the actions on every token triggered.

If, through the play of tokens any player is allowed to take a token from the table and place it into their hands, they must only take tokens that will not leave any other tokens unconnected. All tokens must be touching at least one other token throughout the game.


This allows for some fairly strategic play, where you end up with race conditions like mine (above) where I chose to trigger only two conditions many times, or like those of my daughter (below) who chose to trigger multiple conditions, multiple times.


When the last token is played, the race is over. Score the race in the following way:

  • A ship in 1st place = 5 points
  • A ship in 2nd place = 4 points
  • A ship in 3rd place = 3 points.
  • All other ships = 1 point.


Here are the immediate issues I’ve found and I’m always open to suggestions as to how to handle them or what a change I could implement to make the game better.

Tokens. First, in a two player game there were way to many tokens. My first initial change before we even started the game was as follows:

  • 2 Player games use 24 (of the 48) tokens chosen randomly.
  • 3 Player games use 36 tokens.
  • 4+ players use all tokens.

I would love to have an additional set of tokens say 2 of each, 3 different types for six total new tokens so that even 6 player games would have some variability over what was in the game or so that a six player game could use all of them and extend out for an additional turn.

Pawns. I really like the mechanic of the actual race – the pawns really don’t go anywhere, they don’t travel around a track or move around the table. It’s only their position that changes. This works really well in every aspect except that its, for lack of a better word, fiddly. They do tend to migrate slowly up and down the table, depending on which pawn is moving ahead of another. Were I a publisher spending money on this game I may consider some kind of sliding cardboard thingy which would facilitate this. When you’re acting on these pawns up to five times a turn, while that bit is quick, its still… fiddly. I’m thinking on this aspect now but would love to hear any thoughts or ideas on it.

Adjustment to player expectations. Lots of people see the nice, chunky race condition tiles and think “Ooh! We’re going to make the game board as we go along!” This isn’t the case in this game, you’re simply constructing a series of conditions through which your airships (and other players airships) may travel through. My 9 year old is very adaptable and ran with it and I was expecting it but I can tell from initial reactions and responses to the pictures I posted on line that most folks don’t immediately go to that. I think this can be managed simply by being very up front with how the tiles are used.

The Two Player Problem. The game, with two players, is enjoyable and interesting but there’s just as many pawns out there as I’d like to make it really engaging and to make it feel like each player is making a real, tactical decision every turn. Two solutions I’ve though of is either adding in 2 extra pawns of any color, or giving each player 3 airships to race with. Either way the total pawn count climbs to six – in the first solution there are two extra ships you’re just trying not to let get in front of you. You’d prefer they be in front of the other player however. In the three pawns each situation, each player is managing three ships and have to take into account the scoring (that a 2nd/3rd place combo will beat a 1st/4th place combo). I feel like the second solution is the better but I’m going to have to play it out to find out.

So there it is – the second game I’ve put together over the past few weeks!


About Ben

I'm a geek. A nerd, a dweeb, whatever. Yes I owned garb, yes I still own medieval weaponry. And yeah, I could kick your butt in Mechwarrior the CCG. I love video games, role playing games, tactical board games and all forms of speculative fiction. I will never berate someone for wanting to be a Jedi and take everything Gary Gygax ever wrote as gospel. Well, all of this but that last bit.

Sep 012015

GemPacked Cards is a card game based on an iOS app. Or is it an iOS app based on a card game? Either way, it’s a quick, overtly simple set collection game suitable for kids but with a bit of hefty strategy mixed in for us adults as well. You can find it on Kickstarter right now!


Eduardo Baraf, creator of such games as  Lift Off! Get me off this Planet! and The Siblings Trouble was kind enough to send over not only a physical prototype of GemPacked Cards but an invitation to spend some time with the beta iOS app as well. This review will focus on the physical iteration of the game but I’ll talk a bit about the app as well.

How to play GemPacked Cards

gempacked2(Stolen directly from the BGG page) During each round, players use the Gemino Pip Tokens they draw to try to acquire higher level Gemino Squares and Gemino Diamonds (worth victory points) or trade for Sun or Nova cards. All cards are played face up. When the last Gemino Pip Tokens are drawn from the starting pile, each player has one remaining turn before the round ends and players tally their score.

In more detail, at the start of a turn, a player draws two Gemino Pip Tokens, then takes any of the following actions in any order and as many times as they like:

  • Trade GPips for GSquares on the card grid (placing pips in the common pool)
  • Trade GSquares for GDiamond on the card grid (placing cards in the discard pile)
  • Discard GSquares for GPip equivalents from the common pool (placing discards in the discard pile)
  • Trade GPips for the Sun card or GSquares for the Nova card

At the end of their turn, the player refills the card grid from the draw deck one at a time. If they reveal any Action Cards, those cards are resolved immediately, starting with the active player, then moving clockwise around the table.

After the last Gemino Pip Token is drawn and the final player has a turn, players score their hands as well as Sun/Nova points. (GPips are not worth any points, but should be tracked each round as a tie breaker.) Whoever has the most points wins.

That’s how to play it but how does it play?

I was able to get in a good number of 2 and 3 player games with one of my daughters and a few other friends. I’ll say this – as easy as the game appears, it’s just a bit strange to pick it up the first time and dive in. Keep in mind that I’m playing with an unfinished product and while the rule book was fairly polished other changes have and will happen before this comes to kickstarter.

Getting over that initial bit of head scratching with the simple solution of setting the game up and playing it, everything clicked together nicely. Both I and my 9 year old started the initial play together and about 2 turns into the game we both had our “ahhh that’s how this works” moment.

What we have here is a light set collection game based on colors and shapes. 2 and 3 player games all played in about 20 minutes which I think is the perfect space for a game like this. While appearing initially to be a pretty simple color match game, Ed’s decision to include both construction of larger, points worthy cards and deconstruction of these for smaller cards that may help attain other, richer goals is key. That’s the part of this that lets you get nicely creative and pull of moves and combos that are worthy of much weightier seeming games.


What I enjoyed most about this game was that, while everyone is constrained by the mechanics to build better, higher point cards, we can all go about it a little differently. One player will collect a set of Squares using one wild Pip and then break that down to other Pips they need to get to a much higher scoring Diamond. While others will go straight forward Pip to Square to Diamond and a third will do a combination of the two where they feel it’s necessary.

All of our games were fairly close provided each player had played it once. New players have a tendency to get slightly crushed while they’re getting a feel for the game but this may not be the case for everyone out there.


While I can’t speak to the final game as we’re playing with a prototype here, I can speak towards the art. GemPacked Cards is a cute game. I don’t mean cute as in “ooh look, a kitten!” I mean CUTE as in “Stop pouring baby animals on me!” Is this a bad thing? I think that depends.

It doesn’t bother me in the least and both of my kids (9 and 12) were all over the artwork while their voices went up several octaves with every exclamation. It doesn’t detract from the game at all for me but other’s who prefer the look of say, Chaos in the Old World may not be huge fans.

Clearly this game is aimed towards a certain audience and I think it hits that mark dead center.

Pencil First Games did a wonderful job components wise (and game wise) on Lift Off! Get Me Off This Planet (my review at the link) so if that’s any indication on how the components for GemPacked Cards will turn out I think we’ll all be happy.


The GemPacked iOS app (available at iTunes for $0.99) looks very similar to the physical card game but plays a bit differently. The app is a series of timed challenges in which you set out to meet certain goals. The implementation is smooth and graphically as pleasing as the card game. It’s not really my kind of app but luckily I have a 9 year old who thrives on games like this. She gives it an exuberant two thumbs up, Roger Ebert style.


It’s an interesting direction to go in where the app and the physical game look alike but play very differently. I personally have no issues with this but those who enjoy the physical game should take note that they won’t be getting the exact same experience digitally.

Final Thoughts

I like GemPacked Cards and would certainly play it again. The 20 minute card game (many call ’em ‘filler games’) hits a sweet spot in my current game playing style as I can squeeze in a game here and there when I time allows. I really enjoy smaller games that are easy to dive into but that reward multiple plays with interesting, unfolding strategies. GemPacked is one of those games.

I had to move my prototype copy along to another review and both I and my daughter were sad to see it go. We’re both looking forward to the day when the game is released so we can pick it up and get some more plays in!


About Ben

I'm a geek. A nerd, a dweeb, whatever. Yes I owned garb, yes I still own medieval weaponry. And yeah, I could kick your butt in Mechwarrior the CCG. I love video games, role playing games, tactical board games and all forms of speculative fiction. I will never berate someone for wanting to be a Jedi and take everything Gary Gygax ever wrote as gospel. Well, all of this but that last bit.

Aug 152015
pic2549878 (2)

“A group of poor explorers hoping to get rich quickly heads out to recover treasures from some undersea ruins. They’re all rivals, but their budgets force them all to share a single rented submarine. In the rented submarine, they all have to share a single tank of air, as well. If they don’t get back to the sub before they run out of air, they’ll drop all their treasure. Now it’s time to see who can bring home the greatest riches.” (From the BGG Store)

“Thief who crept to roost of monster-troll accumulated a huge gem. At that time it is finally trying to Hakobidaso jewelry, monster of signs is …. It is very Once found in the flesh-eating troll! Thieves is not that he found, and Candidate attempts as much as possible a lot of jewelry, it was the start each other tactics …” (From Oink Games TROLL via Google Translate).

A group of poor explorers. Unlimited riches. Untold Danger. Oink Game’s “Deep Sea Adventure” and “Troll” both play with these themes. They are quick to learn and play, have minimal components and look gorgeous on a shelf…but, despite the packaging, are they any good? Are these filler games worth picking up and tossing into your collection?

The Game:

Designer: Jun Sasaki
Publisher: Oink Games
Ages: 8+
Players: 3-6
Time: 20-30 minutes
Mechanics: Press Your Luck, Roll and Move

In Deep Sea Adventure, everyone begins in the submarine. A particularly nice piece of this design is the inclusion of the game timer (the air supply) on the submarine. The players share a full tank of air at 25 units and count down as the divers exert themselves salvaging the treasure lurking below. Trailing below the submarine is a series of tokens representing treasure of increasing worth as you move further from the sub. One a turn, each player rolls two dice (with pips varying from 1-3 on each dice equalling a total range of movement equalling 2-6 spaces (depending upon encumbrance). If you land on a ruin token, you can chose to pick it up and place it facedown in front of you. If the space’s chip was already picked up, you can choose to put down a chip on that spot. Then you decide whether you are heading back to the submarine or going deeper down.

This is the crux of your decision space in this simple game. Go deeper and pick up a ruin chip that is worth more or head back up and bank what you have in the safety of the submarine. The ruins tokens are worth more the farther you move away from the submarine but the deeper you go, the less likely you will make it back. This seems simple: Dive. Grab Points. Get back to the sub. However, the trick is finding the right time to turn back towards the sub. As people pick up more chips, they use up more air and time can start to move really quick. Now you are loaded with treasure and everyone else is as well. You are sluggish after some unfortunate and air is being sucked down faster than you can count.

And to make things worse, Vasily has been dragging two tokens slowly back to the sub and suddenly dropped one and sped right into safety and banked a bunch!

So the air runs out and you are still floating in the deep. Well, the automatic hitch activates and pulls you back up but you need to drop all the treasure in your possession. You score no points and those tokens are stacked in units of three and put at the bottom of the line. These stacks of three treasure tokens count as one token when it comes to movement. So a sack of three will only slow you down one pip on your roll rather than three. Anyone who made it to the sub with their treasure gets to flip them over and score.

If you failed to make it back to the sub, your colleagues will rescue you minus your treasure, throw you in a decompression chamber to get you into shape for the next dive. If you succeeded in returning to the sub you get to keep your ruin chips and flip them over as treasure. They will not count against your air in the next round.

The main mechanism of Deep Sea Adventure is roll and move. And it works just fine. Yes, you can be stymied by a series of poor rolls but the game is quick enough that you really aren’t dedicating that much time and most games will play shorter than the 30 minutes on the box. The press your luck mechanism of the game is drop dead simple — more you carry, the more oxygen you use up, and the quicker you run out of air to breathe. Thus, you are constantly looking to see how much other people are carrying and calculating how much you can afford to move in order to win.

Oink Games has an amazing line of cute, accessible filler games in the most adorable tiny little boxes I have ever seen (TROLL, In A Grove, Rights, etc). The art work and the components are always minimalistic. Not much on the artwork, the graphic design is crisp and clear. The gameplay simple enough to teach to anyone new to games. The game and the box it came in are beyond endearing. They are cute and engaging enough for its size. Will it satisfy every gamer’s appetite? No. But it provides more than enough tension to make it worthwhile as a filler. It really shines as a family or kid’s game though. And you can’t beat the simplicity of roll, move, and pick up treasure. Do I want to add a giant squid circling the ruins? You bet I do. Will I? Probably.
deep sea adventure

The Game:

Designer: Kouji Kimura
Publisher: Oink Games
Ages: 8+
Players: 3-6
Time: 20-30 minutes
Mechanics: Press Your Luck, Bluffing

In TROLL, you one of 3-5 crafty thieves in a lair of hungry trolls. These trolls have precious jewels and you only have a few days and your wits to escape with as many jewels as possible.

Each thief has a set of six tokens numbered 0-5 representing the number of jewels stolen from the Troll. Each troll in the troll deck has a number (3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, and 15). During the round, each thief will play one of their tokens. The first player (the scout) can look at the troll card to see the value and then plays a token. Then each thief, in order can either play it safe and look at the card and play a token face-up or be daring and place a token face down. When taking a daring action, the thief gets to place a x2 multiplier on the token to represent getting twice the amount of jewels if successful at their gamble.

Once everyone has placed their tokens, the troll card is flipped over and the player’s tokens are arranged from smallest to largest. The tokens are then added up according to the amount of jewels they planned to steal. If your tokens totals less than the revealed troll’s number, you gain the points on your token (with additional multiplier if appropriate). Then the person whose token totaled or exceeded the troll’s number gets captured and gets a -2 penalty. Any one after the woken troll escape getting mauled but they don’t score any points. After two or three rounds (dependant upon the number of players), the game ends and the player with the most points wins.

Troll gets the same high points for design, minimalist presentation and the cute box. However, the bluffing in this game is not particularly compelling. It feels more like quick arithmetic and guesswork than actual bluffing. And when you have something like Skull that does it better and even simpler, there isn’t much reason to bring this one out too often.

deep sea adventure (1)

About John Pappas

I'm John ~ a short, mustachioed Library Director of a small branch library outside of Philly. I'm a father, geek, librarian and zen practitioner. I wear glasses, play board games and tend to read pretty much anything that comes across my desk. I organize and host three gaming groups at my library ~ The Golden Gamers (65+), Tabletop Gaming at the Library, and a Game Design Guild. The name of this column "Roll for Fire" comes from my love of Flash Point: Fire Rescue [ and cooperative games in general] and the desire I have to watch it all burn down.

Jun 022015


4 days left to get Swamped! 2-4 players, 20-30 minutes, semi-cooperative play with a unique programmed movement mechanic! All this in 35 cards and 2 bits! $12 plus shipping gets the game to your door this December.

That means for about the cost of a movie and a medium movie soda, you can enjoy a highly repayable game with 2-3 of your friends. Or use the solo variant!

The Swamp Tiger expansion is up and we need to get our total to $17,000! That’s entirely doable and I for one would love to see this happen. It’s a great expansion that adds lots of neat, new options to the game.

If you’re already a backer you have our thanks! Please consider sharing this to get the word out! We’d love to hit a few more stretch goals and that means more backers needed!

Bellwether Games also has their two previous titles (I own both, they rock) Drop Site and Antidote available as add-ons for the Kickstarter campaign.


About Ben

I'm a geek. A nerd, a dweeb, whatever. Yes I owned garb, yes I still own medieval weaponry. And yeah, I could kick your butt in Mechwarrior the CCG. I love video games, role playing games, tactical board games and all forms of speculative fiction. I will never berate someone for wanting to be a Jedi and take everything Gary Gygax ever wrote as gospel. Well, all of this but that last bit.

May 142015

swamped backer

The Kickstarter for my game Swamped is doing well. It’s already funded and we’re at 113% or so as of this writing. We’d really, really like to get it up to the 150-200% level though so we can knock some of these awesome stretch goals out.

If you’re not a backer, please consider backing! At $14 shipped to the US it’s a fairly easy investment. Another amazingly great way to help out though would be to mention the Kickstarter via Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, Instagram – any of your normal social media outlets! We’re using the hashtag #Swamped and would very much appreciate a mention!

Also, here’s the latest graphic featuring everything that will ship with the base game.

whats in the box

About Ben

I'm a geek. A nerd, a dweeb, whatever. Yes I owned garb, yes I still own medieval weaponry. And yeah, I could kick your butt in Mechwarrior the CCG. I love video games, role playing games, tactical board games and all forms of speculative fiction. I will never berate someone for wanting to be a Jedi and take everything Gary Gygax ever wrote as gospel. Well, all of this but that last bit.

May 112015


Swamped is not your average quasi-cooperative game to be kickstarted. Designer Ben Gerber and Bellwether Games co-founder Dennis Hoyle discuss the Kickstarter project.

Support Jonathan through PATREON
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About Jonathan J. Reinhart

Jonathan J. Reinhart is an editor of Troll in the Corner where he writes about wargaming. Jonathan also is the owner of the Wargaming Recon podcast. He has been gaming with miniatures since 2000 and playing board games from a young age. He's played a myriad of games such as: Warhammer 40k, Warhammer Fantasy, Warmachine, Starship Troopers, Axis & Allies: War at Sea, Flames of War and Warlord Games' Black Powder rules. War at Sea and the Black Powder rules are his current go-to games. Jonathan enjoys casual, fast, fun, and group board games. Sitting Ducks Gallery, Zombie Dice, Guillotine, Pandemic, and Carcassonne rank high on his list. He is a retired local politician with a B.A. in Politics & History, which provides a useful background for historical gaming. A casual World of Warcraft player, he became a Kingslayer as Viktrious the Blood Elf on 4/23/11 and followed that up by slaying Deathwing on 5/9/12.

May 062015
Now on Kickstarter

Now on Kickstarter

I am extremely excited to announce that the Swamped! campaign is now LIVE on Kickstarter! Bellwether Games and I have been working together to develop this game for a year and a half now. We feel we’ve honed this down to a fun, fast and easily replayable game with a price tag of just $12. We’ve taken my original concept and created a game that embodies a lot of what we love in larger board and card games and boils it down to just the fun bits. Cooperation, hidden agendas, cards with multiple uses and an always different play space in the form of the Swamp.

are you ready

You’ve been hired to collect a rare herb found deep in the heart of one of the world’s most deadly swamps. Together with your newly acquainted team, you must navigate this dangerous environment in a tiny boat to find the legendary plant before night falls or something more sinister finds you first…

In the game players take turns planning and executing movements for the boat in an attempt to collect lucrative natural treasures. As the game progresses, the boat drifts deeper and deeper in the swamp and players will suddenly discover they need to work together to get out of the swamp alive!

Please visit the Kickstarter page for more information and please, please help us with this campaign! How can you help?

  1. Visit and “like” the Kickstarter page.
  2. Share a link of the Kickstarter page with friends and family either online or by talking about it!
  3. Pledge your support at the Kickstarter page. Even just $1 will get you access to the print and play edition of the game and all of the project updates. $X will get you a copy of the game, shipping included if the campaign is successful.
  4. If you’re a member of Board Game Geek, head over to the Swamped page and become a fan! Give some photos a thumbs up and let us know you’re here!



Swamped is a game for 2-4 adventurers that plays in about 30 minutes and expands the vibrant world of Antidote. In addition to a one-of-a-kind theme, there are 6 core elements that make Swamped incredibly fun and a surprisingly unique gaming experience:

  1. Player-shared pieces: All players share ownership of the same tiny boat in the swamp, so the actions of any one player impact every other player directly.
  2. Secret and shared objectives: Everyone knows the main objective, but each player also has a hidden goal that might lead the whole expedition into deadly peril!
  3. Player controlled game-length: Players can speed-up or slow-down the game down depending on their preference. Some will try to get out of the swamp quickly, while others will delay until they’ve collected precisely the right combination of treasures.
  4. Surprise ending: It is unlikely that anyone can know with 100% certainty who has won the game before each player’s secret objective is revealed, leading to an exciting reveal at the very end!
  5. Efficient use of physical components: Despite its small size (35 cards and 2 pieces), most cards have multiple uses and orientations leading to a surprisingly deep set of decisions each player can make.
  6. Variable game map: As players move deeper into the swamp, the swamp expands from the action card deck, opening up unique adventure opportunities every time you play.


Note: The game components in the video are all prototype quality.


Bellwether Games is trying something a little different with this project. Not only will funding drive unlocked stretch goals, but backers will also have quite a say in what stretch goals become unlocked and when! How? Here’s how:

Stretch Goals

Stretch Goals

I personally think this is a great thing – putting the available stretch goals into the hands of the backers so that they can unlock what they want to, in the order they want it unlocked.

If you want more news, I’d highly suggest going right to the source on Kickstarter! And for timely updates, consider pledging. Just $1 gets you all of the news as soon as it comes out and access to the Print and Play files.



About Ben

I'm a geek. A nerd, a dweeb, whatever. Yes I owned garb, yes I still own medieval weaponry. And yeah, I could kick your butt in Mechwarrior the CCG. I love video games, role playing games, tactical board games and all forms of speculative fiction. I will never berate someone for wanting to be a Jedi and take everything Gary Gygax ever wrote as gospel. Well, all of this but that last bit.

May 042015

Kick The Box

May 4th Edition

Beginning of May and no signs of slowing down in the board game genre of Kickstarter. In fact, It may be picking up steam as we roll into the spring and summer months. This week we take a look at a deck building(or is it a deck deconstruction?) card game, a set collecting, tile laying board game, some beautiful dice boxes, and an alternate universe miniatures game. A little bit of something for everyone this week. Check out the news and than see who it is that made this week’s picks!

Kickstarter News: The Siblings Trouble is fully funded! Congratulations Edo! Now time to start unlocking some of those stretch goals! Matthew O’Malley’s Knot Dice campaign ended, raising over$97,000! Dragon Scales Coins – Wave 1 has reached over 100 backers and halfway to it’s funding goal with over 3 weeks still left in their campaign!

Cauldron: A board game of competitive alchemy

Project By: Artem Safarov

Cauldron is a game about collecting ingredients and creating potions. Each character has a unique ability so players can tailor their game style to their liking.

Players are trying to harvest ingredients, create potions, and cast spells in this 2-5 player game. They will gain victory points by creating said potions, but will also have to spend those valuable points to increase the board size for more ingredient options, or buy potions that will score you more points, or spells that can help you or hinder your opponents.

Many well known reviewers have given Cauldron high praise as an easy to teach, gateway game with the perfect mixture of  luck and strategy. Games generally  last between 60-90 minutes depending on the player count.

If you want to learn more about Cauldron, be sure to check out this Fridays(May 8th) podcast. Artem Safarov, the designer of Cauldron, drops by and talks about his game, Kickstarter, his mentors in the Kickstarter World, and much, much more.

Xenon Profiteer

Project By: Gryphon and Eagle Games

Xenon Profiteer is designed by TC Petty III (Viva Java: The Coffee Game, Viva Java: The Coffee Game: The Dice Game). In this 2014 Ion Award Winning Game, players are trying to refine their Xenon mining skills.

In most games with a deck building mechanic, scrapping, or discarding cards is simply a type of strategy to help get rid of starter cards or any other cards that aren’t useful to you anymore. In Xenon Profiteer, it’s not a strategy, but the main mechanic used to mine Xenon.

Real quick explanation. During the course of the game, you will have to add “air”(four cards with four different elements, Nitrogen, Krypton, Xenon and Oxygen) to your “system” (your drawing deck). The only element that is worth anything to you is Xenon. The other elements are junk and you will have to distill it out of your system. You do this by drawing five cards to your hand. You are wanting to discard all the elements out of your hand and only have Xenon remaining so you can place it in your tableau in front of you. Of course, there are rules to how, which elements, and when you can do this. You can distill only one type of element out of your hand most turns and they can only be distilled in a certain order. This is where collecting money, buying contracts and upgrades will help you break the rules of the game to make your mining more efficient.

Some interesting concepts and an unique twist to the deck building genre. For a more in-depth look at the game, be sure to check out their campaign page.

The Adventure Case: the Ultimate Tabletop Gaming Accessory

Project By: Dog Might Games

Dog Might Games has another amazing campaign underway with their latest hand made wood projects. This time they have upped the ante of their last Dice Box campaign with their latest creation, The Adventure Case.

The Adventure Case has been in prototype for over a year now. It is a storage space for your gaming supplies, a dice box, a rolling tray, and a screen for hiding your rolls.

Of course, as with all of Dog Might Games creations, The Adventure Case is made out of solid wood, beautiful, and fully customizable. There are several different types of wood to choose, from Natural White Ash to Demon’s Blood Hickory. You can also have the dice tray lined with your choice of color of felt or suede. And that’s not all. They have several decorative metal symbols and amazing looking wooden symbols to choose from to have mounted on the outside of the lid with your choice of orientation. They also have a small variety of different colored lighting options for the inside of your adventure case as well.

For an example of their fine work, you can check out my full review of the Deck Box they sent me for review a year ago. It holds my well-used Star Realms deck and still looks great today.

With their high quality craftsmanship, keen eye to detail, and customer service, Dog Might Games has established themselves as one of the best companies to go to for your customized gaming needs.


Project By: Game Fleet Productions

Clockwork Armada has an interesting art style and appeals to the little kid in me with it’s retro, steam punk design. Add a dash of Space Battleship Yamato(aka Star Blazers) thrown in for good measure and it’s hard to say, “No.”

In this alternate reality of flat worlds and earth defying logic, different alien factions having taken inspiration from early naval vessel designs when they created their fleets of death. Each ships weaponry outfitting can be customized for their needs. They can be outfitted with different types of cannons, shield generators, launch bays, and more.

Ships different quadrants have strengths and weaknesses. Players will have to out maneuver their opponents in order to take advantage of the ships weaknesses.

Clockwork Armada looks like it has an unique mixture of naval and space combat mechanics that may help it stand out on it’s own if it is able to get the funding needed.

That’s it for this week! Is there any Kickstarter projects that said to you “Shut up and take my money!” Let me know down below in the comments!

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.