Bully Pulpit releases Juggernaut, Days of Wonder Announces The Artisans of Naqala – An expansion for Five Tribes, Level 99 Games Launches Millennium Blades Kickstarter, Speedy Ortiz – Raising the Skate
Level 99 Games Launches Millennium Blades Kickstarter
Before Level 99 Games and Brad Talton, Jr., launched the Millennium Blades Kickstarter I could not, for the life of me consistently spell ‘millennium’. I am a big fan of Talton’s previous designs, most specifically the War of Indines/Devastation of Indines series. Plus, Millennium Blades’ conceit is brilliant: It is a board game that simulates being a competitive CCG player. Over the course of the game, there is a timed section where players buy, sell and trade cards which are then played in a tournament phase in order to try to win the tournament and score victory points. You can also score VPs by completing collections of cards that share certain symbols in common. I’ve ready through the rulebook and it is fair to say that it does not appear to be a lightweight game, coming in around 2 hours according to the Kickstarter page. The core game comes with a bunch of cards, and you only use about half of them at a time, which will – hopefully – lead to more replayability as well as the surprise of opening a booster (in game) and finding a rare card or a card with great synergy for you to build your tournament deck around. Millennium Blades has already funded and passed its first stretch goal (super rare cards), with more potential expansions on the horizon, including an expansion that adds 120 cards to the base game (although that one will need to be bought separately, with the smaller expansions being including if you back the project).
Bully Pulpit Releases Juggernaut, A Live Action RPG about Free Will from Jason Morningstar
There is no tabletop game designer that pushes what the field is capable of, what games can and should be about more than Bully Pulpit’s Jason Morningstar. That is not to say that I am, personally, always interested in where his games go, but I am always interested in what area he has decided to explore. Most recently, Morningstar has released, Juggernaut. Juggernaut places three to five players (plus a facilitator) in a room with a machine called Juggernaut. Juggernaut is never wrong. Over the course of the game, players reveal cards (and play an MP3 of Juggernaut working) that tell them what must happen next. The instructions are free and are full of ominous warnings that the game may, at times, feel dangerous. It is, largely, a free-form RPG with no conflict. From what I can tell of the rules, only Juggernaut decides what happens next and what it says must happen. Everything else is left to the players. The MP3s, as well as the game cards, are available in PDF for $10 or in print for $15 from DriveThruRPG.
Days of Wonder Announces The Artisans of Naqala
Five Tribes from Days of Wonder hits a very sweet spot for me. It is both strategic enough to feel meaningful but also easy enough to teach almost anyone. It is compelling, with gameplay that reminds of me of mancala, not a game that is frequently mined by modern game design. It is, as Days of Wonder games are wont to be, beautiful. And so I am excited to see that Days of Wonder has announced the first expansion for the game – The Artisans of Naqala. The titular artisans add purple meeples to the game, as well as new Djinns and new tiles, including a chasm that cannot be crossed by meeples, forcing players to use a different route. The artisans themselves can be scored to unlock magic items that provide players with victory points or special abilities.
Speedy Ortiz – Raising the Skate