Kickstarter Weekly–April 4, 2014

4 04 2014

Hey everyone! We have some exciting news for you all! But we can’t tell you just yet! Such a let down, right?

Anyway, we’re going to jump in with this week’s Kickstarter Weekly, and there’s some cool stuff to check out from some of our favorite publishers and designers, so let’s get crackin’!

 

Featured Campaign!

storytellerStoryteller Cards: Fantasy – Jason Tagmire

Our good friend Jason Tagmire is back with another deck of Storyteller cards. Storyteller cards serve as a regular deck of playing cards, a creative tool, and a way to teach creativity to young gamers – think story dice. Along with the cards, your pledge will score you the Storyteller Manual–in PDF form, or as an add-on–that will have games designed by some fantastic designers specifically for the deck of cards you’ll be getting. The first game announced is Divvy In The Dungeon by the one and only Jason Kotarski, you may know him as the guy who designed a TOG favorite The Great Heartland Hauling Co. And who has a few more games hitting the market this year with Crash Games! With more to come, this campaign is super inexpensive to get into and packs a lot of potential; we think you should jump on board!

The campaign ends on April 24, and a pledge of $10 will get you a deck of your own! You can find all of the details right here!

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You Say You Want a Reformation: Coup is Expanding!

1 04 2014

CoupReformationCoverBy Firestone

Hot on the heels of their successful Coup campaign of last year, Indie Boards and Cards have just launched a Kickstarter campaign for Coup: Reformation.

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2013 Holiday Gift Guide—Stocking Stuffers

10 12 2013

coupcoverThis section of of our Holiday Gift Guide is for small games that can fit inside a stocking. Most of them fall into the “filler” category, but some of them have deep gameplay that belies their simple packaging.

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Return To Sender—A Review of Love Letter

23 05 2013

By Firestone

LoveLetterCoverLove Letter had all sorts of buzz coming out of Essen. The game sold out quickly upon reaching the states, and for a time this $10 game was going for $40… So is it worth $40? Is it even worth $10? Let’s find out!

Components

16 cards—these are eight different characters, numbered 1 through 8, and there are varying numbers of each of those…numbers. I just wrote “numbers” too many times.

1: Guard—There are five of these.

2: Priest—There are two of these.

3: Baron—There are two of these.

4: Handmaid—There are two of these.

5: Prince—There are two of these.

6: King—There’s only one.

Bag7: Countess—There’s only one.

8: Princess—There’s only one.

Some red, wooden cubes

<———And all of this comes in a small velvet carrying bag with “Love Letter” embroidered on it.

Setup

Shuffle the cards. Remove one facedown. Deal one card to each player and place the remaining cards in a draw pile. That’s it.

Gameplay

The point of the game is to get your love letter to the princess. You do this by using the different members of the court to work for you. So on your turn you draw a card, and then play down in front of you one of the two cards you now have. When you play a card down, it stays down. And subsequently played cards are just played next to the old one. So you can always see what’s been played.

The actions on the card will often result in someone being eliminated—you or an opponent. The goal is to be the last person standing—or if the small deck runs out, you want to be left holding the highest-numbered card.

CardsThe Guard lets you pick another player and guess the card he or she has. If you’re right, the person is out for the round. If you’re wrong, nothing happens.

The Priest lets you look at the card of another player.

The Baron has you compare your remaining card (now that you’ve played the Baron down) with that of another player. Whoever has the lowest-value card is out of the round.

The Handmaid protects you for that turn—you can’t be targeted by other players’ cards in any way.

The Prince lets you pick a player—including yourself—and force that person to discard the card in his or her hand and draw a new one.

The King lets you trade hands with another player.

The Countess is a little odd: If you have the Countess and also have the Prince or King, you must discard the Countess. You can still discard the Countess at any time, and then people will think you’ve got the Prince or King.

The Princess makes you lose if you’re forced to play or discard her.

CubesWhoever wins the round gets a red cube. The game ends when one player gets a certain number of cubes—which will vary depending on the number of players.

Recommendations

Youth Group Game? Maybe! It’s light enough and fast enough that I do think this could work with a youth group (or a party setting)—though it does only play up to four players, so not too large a party… Usually the luck—which is high in this game—isn’t a detriment in that sort of gathering.

Family Game! No! Okay, changed to Maybe! My kids aren’t old enough to get the game yet, and I don’t think my wife would like it. But your family dynamic might be different.

Gamer’s Game? Probably not! If your group is really, really okay with luck, this could work as a filler. But there are so many other, better fillers out there…

The Verdict

It's Brad Pitt in 10 years. Or Robert Redford...

It’s Brad Pitt in 10 years. Or Robert Redford…

I don’t like this game. There. I’ve said it.

On the very first turn of my first game I was sitting in the 2nd seat. The 1st player played a Guard, guessed a card I had, and I was already out of the round before I had a chance to even play. I turned to my friend and said, “That’s a problem.” It might not have been a problem if it had happened once in the entire game, but it happened a number of times to a number of people.

There was some skill in the way you played your cards, but often it was obvious what to play. And since you’re drawing cards, there’s lots of luck. If you draw two Handmaids in a row, you’re sitting pretty because you’re safe for two rounds—which is a lot in this game. If you draw two Barons, you’re pretty much hosed. If you have a Guard and get a lucky guess, go you! If you have the Princess you have a numbers advantage but you now have fewer strategic choices, as whatever other card you draw will have to get played. Yawn…

There were times you knocked people out thanks to clever deduction. And there were just as many times you knocked people out by blind, dumb luck. In fact, people are churning their hands so often that deduction is practically useless.

Thanks to the timing of their releases—and the fact that they’re both small card games with lots of buzz—it’s hard not to compare this to Coup.

But while Coup is mostly bluffing and some deduction—the deduction element comes in more with a higher number of players—Love Letter is almost no bluffing, some deduction, and tons of luck. Coup is a much better game, IMHO.

So what do you think? Am I way off base here? Did I miss something? Let us know what you think of the game or the review. And thanks for reading! Don’t forget to like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter.





What You Missed…

26 04 2013

MontrealThanks for joining us this week at Theology Of Games. Here’s what you might have missed…

We had a chock-full Kickstarter Weekly post.

Then we got word that the worker-placement game Tzolk’in is getting an expansion.

Then Jeremiah took us on a trip to his adolescence, and the joys and pains of Doctor Who.

Then Firestone talked about his love of expansions, and whined about bad expansions.

Then we brought you a review of the game Coup, which is up on Kickstarter, cheap, and lots of fun!

And finally, we shared the latest episode of TableTop, where they play The Resistance.

Thanks for reading, and we’ll see you next week!





A Review. Of Coup. For You.

25 04 2013

coupcoverBy Firestone

Lately I’ve found myself getting completely hooked by small games with big gameplay. The Resistance. Hanabi. And now Coup.

Components

  • 15 cards—five characters (Duke, Assassin, Captain, Ambassador, Contessa) repeated three times.
  • Summary cards
  • Money

Now, there are a few different printings of this. The components might be slightly different—and the art is certainly different—but that’s what you’ll be playing with.

Setup

  • Place the pile of money in the center of the table.
  • Give each person two dollars.
  • Have each person draw two cards, look at them, and place them facedown in front of them.

Gameplay

Coup is a game where you’re influencing important people to help you do your bidding, and decrease your opponents’ influence, until you’re the last person standing. It’s a little tricky to explain (those summary cards that come with the game are really necessary), so stick with me. On your turn you can do one of four things—the last thing has some sub-things…

  1. Collect Income—which means taking one coin from the bank. Nothing can stop you from doing this or affect this in any way.
  2. Collect Foreign Aid—which means taking two coins from the bank. Why would someone Collect Income when they can Collect Foreign Aid? I’ll tell you in a minute.
  3. Coup—Pay seven coins and launch a coup against an opponent. That opponent chooses one of their facedown character cards and discards it faceup. Nothing can stop you from doing this or affect this in any way.
  4. Use the Special Power of a Character—Each character has a special power, and you just do it.

The Duke allows you to take three coins from the bank.

The Assassin allows you to pay three coins to kill another player’s character card.

The Captain allows you to steal two coins from another player.

The Ambassador allows you to draw two character cards from the deck, exchange one, both, or neither of the drawn cards with the character cards you already have, and then put two cards onto the deck.

The Contessa doesn’t get an action. (But she gets other stuff. Hang on.)

coupcardsWhat’s interesting is that you don’t have to actually have that character card to do the Action… You can bluff your way into any action. So maybe I have the Assassin and the Contessa in front of me. When it gets to my turn I can say, “I’m going to take three coins, because I have the Duke.” And that’s just what I do. Unless…someone calls my bluff. Anyone at the table can say that I’m lying. If that’s the case, one of us is losing a card. If I’m bluffing, I have to admit it, turn one of my character cards faceup, and I’m down to one “life.” (You’re out of the game when you have to ditch both characters. You’ve essentially lost your ability to influence people anymore, so you’re thrown out to the dogs. Or something.) If I was telling the truth, I show that do actually have that character, the person who wrongly accused me has to ditch a character card, and then I get a new one: You place the card on the pile of remaining cards, shuffle them up, and draw one. It might be the one you just got rid of, and your opponents have no idea. That’s one of the great things about this game.

In addition to Actions, some of the characters have a Blocking ability.

The Duke blocks someone from collecting Foreign Aid. (Which is why you might want to just Collect Income rather than Foreign Aid.)

The Captain blocks someone from stealing coins from you.

The Ambassador also blocks someone from stealing coins from you.

And the Contessa blocks someone from Assassinating you.

Again, someone can claim they have a blocking character even if they don’t. And again, unless someone calls the bluff, the block happens. The last person with influence (a character) wins. The game is layered and tense and…poker-like, in a way. It’s also very simple and elegant.

Recommendations

Family Game? Maybe! Certainly not until they’re older. Even then, I’m not sure this is something my wife would want to play.

Youth Group Game? Possibly! It would depend greatly on the group.

Gamers’ Game? Definitely! Coup is a terrific gamers’ game—especially if your group likes games such as The Resistance.

Final Verdict

The first time we played this, we played it five times in a row. And that was in less than an hour. I will say that this wasn’t good with six players, IMO. There was too much information on the table toward the end–because so many characters were discarded–so it slowed down as people tried to figure out who their opponents might still have. Four players felt good, and some people said they thought it might be best with five.

We also had a situation where three people were left, and all three had one character left. On one person’s turn he was going to Coup someone, but whichever opponent he didn’t kill would just kill him. So he was essentially in the position of deciding who won. Blech. That was my only complaint.

I like Coup a lot, and I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy. It’s not going to replace The Resistance, but for a change-of-pace filler it’s just completely awesome.

So where can you get your own copy? Well, Indie Boards and Cards has a Resistance-themed Coup up on Kickstarter right now! It ends in two weeks, and it’s way overfunded. And the best part? It’s only $15 shipped. Check it out.

Thanks for reading! And make sure you check us out on Twitter, Facebook, and now Instagram!





Kickstarter Weekly

20 04 2013

Welcome to Kickstart Weekly! We’re toying around with the schedule for this post so today, you get it on a Saturday! Enjoy!

coupCoup – The Resistance – Indie Boards and Cards is currently launching a Resistance themed version of Coup, a card game of bluffing, and deception! If you’ve been reading TOG for any amount of time you know that we’re big fans of The Resistance titles and are looking forward to yet another addition to the franchise! Check out the campaign here, you can jump in and get a copy of the game fairly inexpensively!

 

 

galactic strikeGreater Than Games – Galactic Strike Force: The Cooperative Deck Building Game
The same folks who brought you Sentinels of the Multiverse are bringing you another deckbuiler, this one is set in a sci-fi universe in which players are working together towards a common goal. The game looks cool, and GTG has a great track record of bringing quality games to market. Follow this link for their Kickstarter Campaign.

 

 

galaxy def gameboxAres Games – Galaxy Defenders, a co-op miniatures game.
Another sci-fi co-op game, this time using miniatures players will fend off an intergalactic invasion! The miniature prototypes displayed on the campaign are looking slick! We don’t usually cover miniatures games, but this one looks like it breaks out of the typical genre box. You’ll find out more right here.

 

 

 

PL-Bicycle1Pixel Lincoln Playing Cards Funded!!
Our good friend Jason Tagmire and his pixelated pal along with the good folks over at Game Salute, have done it again, the Pixel Lincoln themed Bicycle deck has funded and they managed to knock off a few stretch goals along the way! Congrats, to Jason, Game Salute, and Pixel Lincoln! Find out more here! And read our most recent interview with Jason here!

 

 

52529401f6037bebd4868af5a457e719_largeFollowing up: Machine of Death –

This game crushed it’s campaign bringing in over half a million! A big congrats to David Malki and the gang for hitting another home run with their twisted concept of fate, and death. Best of luck! See what the hub-bub is about right here! And read our interview with David right here.

 

 

Thanks so much for reading, and have a great weekend everyone! If you want more fun and info from TOG check us out on Facebook and Twitter!








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