Board Game News 34: A Grab Bag of Kickstarter Projects

This week’s news contains, unsurprisingly, a large number of Kickstarter projects. Included are some great titles, including the expansion for UK designed Stak Bots, which I’m backing. However, we also have Monsters, Pirates, Wizards and more, including Trivia, Educational and Party Games. Also, Gryphon and Eagle Games have offers on several Reiner Knizia titles and as always Paul is here to tell us all about the new releases…

Stak Bots

Fun, quick and sneakily strategic! The next batch of Bots is ready for the production line! Get the expansion and the original game!

Stak Bots is a fun, deceptively simple and sneakily strategic battling card game suitable for all ages.

It can be a quick and casual filler game, or it can take up your evening with repeated battles and customisation.

You can try out the 2 player version NOW by playing the free IOS app, see what reviewers think further down the page, or watch Tom Vasel's video review.

Each turn you try to do as much damage to your opponents as possible, then leave yourself in a good defensive position for when they retaliate.

About the game:

Every Bot is unique - Some are destructive, some manipulate the other cards. Some are just plain quirky. They all affect the game differently.

It is novel - The game is played vertically; where cards are in the Stak are as important as what the cards are. 

You get full control - A fully open turn structure lets you combine and repeat actions as much as you are able to on your go.

You are always involved - Your revealed cards can trigger decisions and you can play from hand to defend yourself, even when it's not your turn.

It is quick to learn - But it takes a while to master how the Bots interact and the shifts in power that they create between players. 

It grows with you - As you get more competent you can add more Staks, more rules and more Bots. Play how you want.

There is a lot to discover - After playing thousands of games, I am still encountering new situations, combinations and tactics. 

Great multi-player game dynamics - Plead rationally with your attackers, victimise players, bear grudges and expose others' weaknesses.

You can read in more detail about the features of the game on the front page of theStak Bots website

Number of players: 1+ players or teams. Play solo, free for all or in teams. 

Recommended age: On the box it says 11+, but we've taught kids as young as 5! The younger ones don't necessarily understand the strategies, but they love destroying each other's Bots! There is no upper age limit. 

Time to play: 5mins - 20mins per game. Once you are familiar with the game it plays very fast. The more players and Staks there are the slower it will be as the decisions get trickier! 

Check it out on Kickstarter and look for my full review later this week.


Big Angry Monsters

A board game where players assume the roles of Giant Monsters in an attempt to be the last Monster standing by destroying each other and the Island of Nacob in the process.

Players begin the game in or around the Island of Nacob, Monsters will then duke it out with a "press your luck" dice rolling mechanic where Monsters can take each other down, destroy buildings, do super moves and gain power to buy crazy upgrades and effects in order to be the last one standing.

Big Angry Monsters will comfortably seat 2-8+ players and take as little as 30 minutes to an hour to play.

The Base Game will include the Following:  

The Island Game Board, 4 Monster Standees printed on 700 gsm punchboard stock with Corresponding Stat Trackers printed on 400 gsm coated paper stock, 12 custom Molded Dice, 50 double sided Location Tiles printed on 700 gsm punchboard stock, 54 Power Cards printed on 300gsm casino grade cardstock each with its own artwork, and a Scenario/Rule Book. (Note: Some stretch goals will add Monsters and Stat Trackers to the base game)

Check it out on Kickstarter

Karma Games

Pretty? Ugly? Pretty Ugly! – a satirical card game

The Startup Karma Games from Berlin/Germany launched the satirical card game against beauty mania in our society.

Pretty Ugly already exists as an Online-Game and you can order the card game on Kickstarter


Karma Games launches its first card game „Pretty Ugly“ on the crowd funding platform ( „Pretty Ugly“ is a simple card game, that satirises the craze of beauty mania in our society. Pretty Ugly is already complete as an online-version that can be played via Facebook: (

Players compete as models, who must adapt their body parts to a randomly determined, ever-changing beauty ideal that they can never really reach. Part of the 'beauty ideal' can be hairy legs or a chubby belly! The ideal can also be changed during the course of the game and then: 'Ugly is the new Pretty!'

“Pretty Ugly” is a fun party game for 2-6 players and takes only 30 minutes to play. The target group are mainly young people between 12 and 29 years. The game was even successfully tested in ethics classes of 12 year olds to promote a discussion about beauty mania among the students.

In the USA, more than 200,000 Teenagers undergo Cosmetic Surgeries every year. Everywhere, beauty mania is growing among young people at alarming rates. Among those to blame are TV programs such as Next Top Model that give their audience an artificial and unhealthy idea of what beauty is. With the satirical card game “Pretty Ugly”, we play with popular cultural views and give players a new perspective on beauty. 

Pirates! The Card Game

Pirates! is a fun and engaging card game created by game geeks, illustrators and product designers. It took over 4 years to develop - from the first prototype to the final illustrations.

Pirates! is the first card game that uses a unique combination of cards, crew tokens and dice. The playing cards (in contrast to the traditional board games) make of every turn an unexpected adventure, just like a real pirates’ life. The customised dice and crew tokens bring fun and excitement to the battles.

Our dream and months of hard work will come true when people from all over the world will play Pirates! together!


Reserve your copy now on Kickstarter



The cover of the WANDS box

Wands is a fast-paced fantasy card battle for two to five players, combining elements of Uno and Magic: The Gathering.

You play the role of a witch or wizard, engaged in a magical battle with your opponents.  You and your rivals start with 10 life points each.  Using a combination of Blasts (unblockable magicks), Spells, and Counter-Spells, you try to reduce your opponents to zero life points and be the last spellcaster standing.

If you cast a Spell, opponents have a chance to cast their Counter-Spells.  Multiple Counter-Spells can be cast on each other, adding more damage and greater effects, shifting effects, or cancelling them altogether.  Imagine one of the wand battles from the Harry Potter movies and you get the idea.  

WANDS is best with two to five players.  Games can be as short as a couple of minutes, and it shouldn't take more than ten minutes for anyone to learn the rules.

WANDS is not a collectible card game.  You only need one set of cards; there's nothing to collect; no booster packs; no rarity; no drafts.  This is the full game.

Check it out on Kickstarter now…

Hostile Takeover – Not Dead Yet Games

Genre-bending game launching on Kickstarter December 2nd

Hostile Takeover is a combative board game that blurs the line between miniatures gaming and board gaming. The game captures the fun and excitement of a skirmish miniatures game and combines that with the lowered cost and increased ease of play of a board game. When asked about his inspiration, designer Andrew McGrady says, “I love minis gaming but that hobby is very costly and time intensive. Additionally, most of my friends are board gamers but not minis gamers. Hostile Takeover is the result of my effort to create a game that would appeal to board gamers while scratching my itch to play minis games.”

Game Backstory:

Hostile Takeover, the debut release from Not Dead Yet Games, takes place in the not too distant future where the world is ruled by massive corporations who compete for control of empires. When wars waged by private armies proved too costly, the Wolf & Phoenix Marketing Conglomerate introduced an out-of-the-box way for megacorps to resolve their differences: The Hostile Takeover Arena. Corporations can now settle disputes by simply hiring a team of mercenaries to out-maneuver and out-gun the competition in a quick, bloody, ratings-exploding spectacle.

Brief Rules Overview:

During the game, players recruit and use a team of 4 mercenaries to accomplish scenario-specific objectives that earn them victory points. Each scenario is specifically designed to bring all teams together in a flurry of combat.

Ranged and Melee Combat checks are handled by rolling 3d6 and trying to equal or exceed a given target number. Each Character has a chart describing their ranged and melee weapons that quickly and easily provides the target number to roll against based on a variety of factors.

About Not Dead Yet Games:

Not Dead Yet Games is the dream of husband and wife team Andrew and Rebekah McGrady. They have been playing board games, card games, miniatures games and RPGs for a combined 35 years. “We are deeply grateful to the hobby gaming industry for the lifetime of fun and friendship it has brought us. Our deepest wish is to bring family and friends closer together over rousingly fun games.”

Vital Stats and Links:

Number of Players: 2-4 (5-6 Player Expansion is in the works)

Play Time: 30 minutes per player

Recommended Age: 14+

Not Dead Yet Games website:

Hostile Takeover Art Gallery:

Hostile Takeover Rules:


Board Game Geek:

Kickstarter Preview:

The Jane Game

Enter Jane Austen's world of elegance, wit and romance along with your friends when you play The Jane Game

The Jane Game is a trivia board game devoted to Jane Austen’s six novels. It is designed to bring Austen admirers together to share in her stories, characters, wit and language. While playing, each participant enters Jane’s world as one of her heroines. As such, you seek after a fortunate life by becoming an accomplished woman, gaining life experience and choosing to marry or not. Through chance, expertise and choice you could become the envied Mrs. Darcy, the pitied Mrs. Collins or the new roommate of Miss Bates.

The Jane Game is for 2-7 players (Austen wrote seven heroines into her six novels) and lasts about an hour to an hour and a half, depending on how chatty and good-humored the heroines are.

Check it out on Kickstarter now…


Bedlam is a hilariously chaotic card game for 2 - 4 players in which you strive to stay sane while scaring your friends to death!

Bedlam is a crazy, frightening place. There are freaky Enemies everywhere, not to mention life’s little Ordeals, like when you Have To Stop Armageddon. To make matters worse, your psychotic opponents try to screw you over all the time. And with 180+ unique cards in the mix, be assured that every game will play chaotically different from the last.

Bedlam has the hilarity and ‘take that’ of Munchkin, give-and-take sliders akin to Arkham Horror, and the mind-bending damage control of – well, Bedlam! - as well as a bunch of original features and mechanics that will drive you crazy. Bedlam truly exercises your brain and competitive nature as well as testing your play skills against your friends.

Check it out on Kickstarter…



A Game of Piracy on the High Seas!

An exciting new game from Ensignia Games launching on Kickstarter November 16th

Davy JonesBuy, sell, and steal cargo while improving your captain's prowess and increasing your infamy.

Launched in 2013, Ensignia Games was founded by Rick Barnes, Braven Carver, and Zack Schuster in Irvine California. What started out as three friends playing an invented board game has turned into collaborative business venture. The goal to create a fun, strategic, and easily accessible game for family and friends has never been closer to being reached. Inspired by games such as Sid Meier’s Pirates and Settlers of Catan, Privateer will be a must own for hard core and casual gamer’s alike.

Privateer has undergone hundreds of plays and countless hours of testing to ensure that it is a fun game, which remains strategic and exciting. After each game, players are hungry to play again with a new captain and to try their hand at a new strategy or play style.

About Game:

The object of the game of Privateer is to be the first captain to amass a total of 20 "Infamy" points. Infamy is a measure of how fearsome, clever, and skilled your captain has become throughout the entirety of the game. Infamy can be gained through upgrades to your captain's ship or through the accumulation of powerful and rare Relic cards.

Game Board

Everything in Privateer is based off of your captain's upgrades. Upgrades can be purchased in any of the game's four unique tracks, which are detailed as follows:

  • Sails: This track determines how quickly your captain's ship can sail between ports. A higher sails score allows you to visit ports more frequently, catch and attack other ships, or even outrun other ships altogether.

  • Crew: This track governs your captain's influence. Throughout the game there are a large number of events which may transpire during play (called Fortunes). When a Fortune occurs, captains with a high crew score often receive larger benefits than captains with a lower score. For instance, during the Parley Fortune, each captain rolls a six-sided die and adds the result to their total crew score. The captain with the highest total roll may receive a free upgrade to any of their four tracks!

  • Cannons: Upgrades to this track will allow your captain to best other ships in combat. This track is essential if you wish to plunder cargo from other ships or if you want to ensure that your own cargo will not be plundered by other aggressive captains. A captain with a low Cannons score can often fall prey to continuous attacks from greedy captains with an eye out for easy plunder.

  • Hold: This track affects a captain's ability to store cargo. Simply put, the higher a captain's Hold score, the higher the number of goods he or she can carry and trade at a time. This is often a very important track for merchants, or even for pirates who often plunder large amounts of cargo at one time. What is the use in plundering cargo if you have nowhere to store all of your hard earned booty?

All of Privateer's captains are wholly unique, and have special abilities that increase a player's ability to utilize different track upgrades. You will often want to play to your captain's strengths in order to ensure victory. Often, however, a player may choose to play their captain in an alternate way depending on the way the game is transpiring. There is no wrong road to victory!

Number of players: 3-6 (with a variant for 2 players)

Recommended age: 9+

Kickstarter Page:

Facebook Page:

Eagle & Gryphon Games

Eagle-Gryphon at Board Game Geek Con!

We had the opportunity to send several of our team members to represent Eagle-Gryphon Games at BGG con last week, and it was a terrific experience. Thank you to all the people that came out to support the convention and stopped by our booth. It was so great to be around so many people who were all gathered together for one purpose only -- to just play and enjoy boardgames! 

We are also VERY excited to say that three of our games placed on the BGG leaderboard. The final lineup was as follows:

#1 Francis Drake

#3 Triassic Terror

#4 Rococo

You can check out the whole leader board on BGG here!

We'd like to extend a huge thank you to everyone that voted! Your support means the world to us!

Our man in the field, Topher, took this snapshot of the action in "Demo-Land"!

Roll Through the Ages: Iron Age Has Landed on Kickstarter!

Gryphon Games is proud to present Matt Leacock's Roll Through the Ages: The Iron Age by Tom Lehmann, the much-anticipated sequel to the best-selling and highly-awarded 

Roll Through the Ages: The Bronze Age.

Roll Through the Ages: the Iron Age gives players different ways to build their empires: the trade and naval strategies of the Phoenicians, the conquests of Alexander the Great, and the engineering prowess and gradual absorption of new provinces by the Roman Republic.

Grab those dice -- including the Fate die -- and prepare to build the greatest empire as you continue to Roll through the Ages!

Support us on Kickstarter and receive:

The Limited Edition Mediterranean Expansion !

Click here to visit us on Kickstarter!

November and December Winter Special! 

Select Knizia Games

50% OFF the MSRP!

Reiner Knizia games feature simple rules matched with careful balance, thus achieving an elegance in design that is usually built on a foundation of mathematical sequences, patterns or numbers.

~~Ender Wiggins,


Money rules the world! It doesn't matter whether you collect euros, dollars or yen as long as the exchange rate is in your favor. And the more you exchange, the more you can make - if you plan carefully and keep your wits about you. This light game provides an enthralling experience for families and gamers alike. Money is a necessary part of any game collection! A 1999 Spiel des Jahres Recommendation.
"Knizia's most underrated design. The fact that the money is both what you use as currency and what you are trying to collect, makes for some very interesting decisions."  ~~
Jason Gische
MSRP: $21.99   Sale Price: $10.99

Details Here!

3-5 players | ages 10+ | 20-30 min.

High Society
It is one thing to be the richest family on the block... it's quite another to flaunt it successfully. High Society pits you against your neighbors in a race to reveal the most blue-blooded family in your midst. To win, you must acquire all the trappings of great wealth, avoid as many of the pitfalls as you can and still walk away with a huge pile of cash at the end of it all. This Reiner Knizia classic makes a great travel game and an easy one to introduce to friends and family.
"Nothing short of pure magic...the game is yet another in the long list of intriguing and agonizing games by the prolific inventor Knizia. Put High Society on your 'HIT' list." ~~Greg J. Schloesser,
MSRP: $25.99    Sale Price: $12.99
Details Here!

3-5 players | ages 10+ | 30 min


Those pesky bugs just keep coming at you! Your job is to SWAT them right when they score the most points. But be quick or your fellow players will SWAT them first. Do you go for Sure

Stings, or wait for Double-or-NoStings? Or maybe you try to get the most Swat-or-Nots or Zappers, since these can be worth even more points. 

"Swatting is fun. Swat is fun. You laugh, but waiting for just the right moment to swat that pile before someone else does is deliciously tense, totally absorbing, graced by the wonderfully whimsical art of Charlie Bink."~~Bernie DeKoven,

MSRP: $11.99   Sale Price: $5.99

Details Here!

2-7players | ages 7+ | 30 min.


Times were mighty hard for miners during the Gold Rush. Rival miners fought over the rights to the few productive gold, silver and copper mine sites. Then came the Desperados. Those gold thieves and mine robbers showed up in all shapes and sizes. It was best to have the help of a reliable partner to fight 'em off.

"Very easy and fun game to play with the kids!" ~~Darin Kelsey,

"The art in Desperados is awesome! ...the pictures (particularly the bandits) are a boatload of fun." ~~Matt Drake from Drakes Flames

MSRP: $11.99   Sale Price: $5.99

Details Here!

2-4 players | ages 10+ | 15-30 min.

Yin Yang

Yin Yang is an ancient Chinese philosophy, that two complementary forces exist in the universe. Many natural dualities-e.g. dark/light; male female- are examples and a balance of both is optimal. In the card game Yin Yang, the player who best succeeds in balancing these two forces will be the winner. This trick-taking card game, challenges players to try and score "0" points.  

"Oh, so painfully wonderful. Trick taking at its best." ~~Chris Fenwick

"The game isn't difficult to learn or play, but it does present the players with some interesting hand management decisions. A great choice to play with families and friends." ~~Greg Schloesser, 

MSRP: $11.99   Sale Price: $5.99

Details Here!

3-5 players | ages 8+ | 30 min.

Heads up for Social Media Weekend Sales!

You work hard all week, and the weekend is the perfect time to play some games! To help you get your weekend started, Eagle & Gryphon games are running special 48 hour sales, but these sales are too good to tell you about here, (plus our boss might see them) so we are going to be running them exclusively on Facebook and Twitter (our boss doesn't even know what these are). So when the weekend comes around, be on the look out for a special treat!  

Help Eagle & Gryphon Games get to 800 likes on Facebook!

We don't like to think of ourselves as ego-maniacs, but you should totally follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Seriously, it's the only cool thing to do...Everyone else is doing it! Okay, fine, we'll tell you. We're going to do some special sales and giveaways that will be available to our followers when we hit 800 and 1000 likes on Facebook and 3000 follows on Twitter. We like you, do you "like" us?   

Seekers: Treasure Hunt

A competitive, fast-paced strategy game for 2-4 players, where your goal is to be the first to find the buried treasure!

1. Fast-paced action: Although there is no time limit, Seekers: Treasure hunt is a race to find a buried treasure. While playing, you will have an immediate sense of urgency and the excitement builds as you unveil more clues for each game. Players do not need to take time to develop their characters, bases, or accumulate money. They hit the ground running.

2. Balanced gameplay: Do you hate it when someone keeps getting the perfect dice roll and you can’t do anything about it? Do you find yourself giving up halfway through a game? In Seekers: Treasure Hunt, whenever a player pulls far ahead, the other players can form temporary alliances and level the playing field. Cards and map layout are designed to keep each and every game as close as possible.

3. Good-natured competition: Many of our cards are just plain fun to say, and their in-game effects are even more entertaining. In Seekers: Treasure Hunt, you do not have to reach a certain number of points, obtain a certain amount of money, bankrupt other players, or destroy other players to win the game. You simply strategize and hold things fall into place.

4. Easy-to-learn and teach: Seekers: Treasure Hunt can be taught in a matter of minutes. It has enough elements to keep it interesting, but not so much that you lose track of things.

Find it on Kickstarter now…

Deck Around

Heard this one before? You're having drinks with friends and everyone is on their iPhone. One person is talking about their new diet (nobody cares). 

Deck Around is here because parties need more -- more laughs, more surprise, more ridiculousness. 

  • You'll learn the game in 27 seconds
  • You'll start laughing 1 minute after that
  • Enjoy it with big groups of friends and strangers alike
  • No downtime, no waiting for turns -- no boring shit

The game is designed, thoroughly tested and I've locked down a solid supplier who can make it real! I can't offer the game at this great of a price for all of us unless we purchase a large volume of them -- so that's why I'm trying to get a big order in before Christmas with the funding here on Indiegogo. 

How to Play

Watch the video above to find out how to play. Here's a quick description for if you can't hear or something: 

  1. You'll get a deck full of slang terms -- words like twerking or Dutch oven -- but more obscure. You pick a random one and everyone writes a made up but convincing definition for the word and anonymously hands it in. 
  2. One person reads all the definitions aloud, including the actual definition of the word, which is randomly mixed in. 
  3. Everyone guesses which definition is the real one. They usually fall for someone else's bullshit definition.
What's in the Box

The full game has everything you need to Deck Around:

  • 106 rounds of gameplay in a deck of cards -- that’s a big deck!
  • 400 sheets of answer paper, and after that, you’re on your own
  • 6 mini pencils I stole from a public golf course
  • 1 sexy shrink wrapped box with instructions
  • 0 dice, game boards or little plastic houses

Check it out on Indiegogo now…

Secrets of the Lost Tomb

The Cinematic Pulp Action Adventure Board Game! A Fast-Paced Cooperative and Competitive Tomb Diving Experience for 1 to 6 Players!

We at Everything Epic Games bring you a new Action Adventure board game set in the 1930’s Pulp Era. Secrets of the Lost Tomb incorporates similar mechanics to games like Arkham Horror, Betrayal at House on the Hill, and Mice and Mystics with thematic inspirations from the worlds of H.P. Lovecraft, The Da Vinci Code, Pirates of the Caribbean, and of course Indiana Jones!

What’s in the Core Game Box:*

  • Rulebook 
  • 4 Adventure Scripts (Double Sided)
  • 50 Tomb Room Tiles 
  • 8 Character Sheets (More in Stretch Goals) 
  • 8 Custom Laser Etched Dice 
  • Over 250 Cards Including:
  • Story “Adventure/Misadventure Cards” (Over 50 Double Sided)
  • Tomb Cards
  • Tomb Monster Cards 
  • Elite Monster Cards 
  • Boss Monster Cards 
  • Item Cards
  • Artifact Cards 
  • Room Search Cards
  • Character Status Cards
  • Objective Cards 
  • Over 200 Full Color Die Cut Tokens Including:
  • Monster Damage Tokens 
  • Audacity Tokens 
  • Attribute Bonus Tokens 
  • Rope Tokens 
  • Script Objective Marker Tokens 
  • Personal Quest Objective Tokens 
  • Search Marker Tokens 
  • Item Pile Tokens Action Tokens 
  • Plastic Dial Connectors (Used for Character Sheet Spinners) 
  • Character Standees 
  • 8 Character Plastic Stands 
  • 15 Monster Plastic Card Stands 
  • Player Reference Cards 
  • Comet Track/First Player Marker Spinner

*Final contents could change. (Most likely more items will be added because of stretch goals) 

Check out the video below and then shoot over to Kickstarter to back the project.

Out This Week

And finally we have this week’s release courtesy of Paul over at Board Game Guru

Arrived in store late this week

‘Ogre : Designer edition’, – How refreshing to see a publisher put more in the (aircraft hanger sized) box than you'd expect for the price! One for the Ogre connoisseur and/or the cardboard investor.

‘Rokoko’, ‘Coal Baron’ and ‘Nauticus’.

The Zman franchised Essen games arrived on Friday and most can be described as ‘Gamers Games’:- ‘Russian Railroads’, ‘Bruxelles 1893’ and ‘Glass Road’. There is also the rather charming ‘Blueprints’ , ‘Ginkgopolis :Experts’ and re-stocks of 'Tash-Kalar' and 'Tribes and Prophecies'

Expected next week

‘Zombicide : Toxic City Mall’

'Kingdom Builder : Crossroads'

‘Baba Yaga' and ‘Three Little Pigs’ from Iello


‘unNatural Selection’


'Modern War 9 : War by TV kosovo 1999'

The next batch of ‘Cruel Necessity’

Arriving late December /early January

‘Darkest Night: On Shifting Winds’


‘Last Will Getting Sacked’, ‘Lords of Waterdeep’, ‘Nieuw Amsterdam’, ‘Space Alert’, ‘Al La Carte’ (at a nice price), ‘Lord of the Rings : The Confrontation’,  the German edition of ‘Little Prince’ (nice price) and the German Edition of 'Hanabi'.

Happy Gaming