A few new games this month
Ortus Regni (http://www.ortusregni.com/) is a new and novel card game inspired by the late Anglo-Saxon period of English history. A time of warring Earls, claiming whatever lands they could… establishing fiefs, cultivating powerful vassals, fighting and engaging in endless political struggles. All while Vikings roamed not just the sea, but the land. It is truly a Dark Age. Or is it? Lasting for 600 years, until the Norman Conquest of 1066, this era decided the future of a great kingdom that would become England.
Designing your Earl Deck before play begins is one of the key features of the game. Ortus Regni is a deck-design game, rather than a deck-building game. That is, you are entirely in control of the deck that you will begin play with in a game of Ortus Regni.
There are several canonical Ortus Regni deck design concepts—such as a Lord deck, an Army (Land) deck, a Politics deck, or an Emissary (Monk) deck, and more. But such concepts are only the start of your design options. The Earl Deck you put together can be a subtle hybrid of several concepts, or something entirely different and unusual.
Your opponents in Ortus Regni will have access to the exact same suite of cards that you do when they design their own Earl Decks for game play. So it all comes down to your choices and your strategies! There is also tactical space during a game of Ortus Regni to zig and zag, even if you find yourself against an Earl Deck design that you did not anticipate. You might pull out an unexpected win nonetheless if you play your deck well.
Luchador! Mexican Wrestling Dice
Luchador! Mexican Wrestling Dice is a two-player dice game (with optional rules for four-player tag-team play) based on the popular world of professional Mexican wrestling, or “Lucha Libre” (a.k.a. free fighting). Players start with 21 points of health (or 18 in a tag-team match) and roll custom dice to try to either reduce the opponent’s strength points to zero to win by a knock-out (KO) or hold the opponent down on the mat for a “count of three” to win by a pin.
The player sitting near the ‘red’ corner of the wrestling ring uses 4 ‘red’ wrestling dice, the player near the ‘blue’ corner, the 4 blue wrestling dice.
Each player also has a HIT die and a PIN die.
Players begin by each rolling their own set of ‘wrestling dice’ at the same time, trying to ensure that they land in, or touching the wrestling ring.
The results of HITs, BLOCKs, COUNTERs, and MISS rolled are played off against each other then the HIT dice can be rolled to see what damage they did. i.e Drop Kick, Forearm smash, Table slam etc. Damage is recorded on the Strength Score Card of the player being hit.
If a player rolls two HITs in one round, instead of rolling the HIT dice twice, they can take a chance on the Luchador! die once which may result in their wrestler’s trademark moves and inflict much more damage on their opponent.
Any PINs rolled in a round may be re-rolled, once only. However once an opponent is reduced on their strength to where they are pinable, the PIN die is held until after the HITs have been inflicted then the PIN die is rolled. If PIN comes up, the ‘three count’ begins. The player being pinned has three attempts to save, using their wrestling dice or lose the match.
In a tag-team match players have the choice of trying to tag-out to regain slight strength, but it can also cost them…, if they fail to tag and get dragged back into the ring by their eager opponent.
Age of War is a quick-playing game of conquest. Fourteen cards are laid out at the start of the game, each showing one castle and the symbols required to conquer this castle, with the symbols separated into battle lines. Each castle belongs to a clan, with some clans having only a single castle and some having up to four castles.
A player starts his turn by rolling seven dice, the six sides of which show archery, cavalry, daimyo, and 1-3 infantry. He then selects a card and uses the symbols rolled to conquer exactly one of the battle lines on this card (by placing the appropriate dice on that line). If he can do this, he then rolls the remaining dice, ideally conquering another line; if he can’t conquer a line, he removes one die from play, then rolls again. His turn ends when either he conquers every line on the card (in which case he claims it) or he no longer has dice available to roll.
Each card is worth a number of victory points. You can conquer cards owned by other players, but you need to conquer an additional daimyo line in the process. If a player owns all the castles of one clan, however, those castles are secure and cannot be stolen. What’s more, these castles are now worth more points because you’ve united the clan under one ruler (you) and strengthened your hold over Japan.
When the last card is claimed, players tally their points, and whoever has the highest score wins.
The Great Fire of London 1666 (2nd Edition)
On Sunday September 2, 1666, Thomas Farriner, the baker to the King, forgot to put out the hearth fire in his shop. This simple act of negligence created a towering and lethal inferno which would eventually destroy 13,000 houses and leave nearly 90 percent of the city’s population destitute and homeless…
You are no simple bystander to this tragedy; the future of London lies in your hands.
In The Great Fire of London 1666, the players are men of wealth and standing who own property around London. The Lord Mayor has failed to act and it is down to these mighty men to lead trained bands of militia to fight the fire and save the city. To do so they must decide which districts to sacrifice to the fire and which to protect. Remember, these same men own much of London, thus such choices will shape their own future and greatly affect their wealth and standing.
Use the trained bands to suppress the fire and explosives to destroy blocks of housing to create fire breaks and prevent its spread. Do you choose to protect your own homes, turning a blind eye and allowing the fire to consume your rival’s property? Or will you stand as the hero of London, and choose to save as much of the city as possible?
Victory can belong to the player with the most property left after the ashes settle, but stopping the fire and saving London’s most famous landmarks may win a more altruistic land owner the hearts and minds of the people.
Save the city, or watch it burn.
The Captain is Dead (BGG link)
Imagine that you are one of the crew in your favorite science fiction TV show. Now imagine that in the last 10 minutes of the show things have gone so badly that the captain is dead, and you and a member of your crew have to pull together and save the day yourselves!
The Captain is Dead (publisher link) is a co-op game for 2 to 7 players. All you have to do is get the ship’s engines (aka “Jump Core”) back online and you win; but because there is a hostile alien ship trying to destroy you, that is easier said than done.
You have an impressive star ship full of useful systems that will help you fend off the aliens, and get the Jump Core back online. Each system gives you an advantage while it remains online. The assault from the hostile alien ship tends to keep knocking those systems offline however. So you need to balance your time between keeping the ships system’s online, fending off the alien threat, and completing your objective.
Each member of your crew has special abilities and skills. You need to work as a group to maximize the potential of each role. If someone tries to be a hero, you’ll all die.
Till Dawn takes place over the course of three nights during which time all self respecting vampires leave their coffins to hunt. A deck of hunt cards is passed from vampire to vampire, each taking one card, reading it aloud, then passing the rest on. If a feeding card is drawn, all vampires gain blood tokens — but the deck is also loaded with events, vampire slayers, a vicious werewolf, invitations from the elders, and the creeping threat of sunrise. Feeling lucky? At any time during a hunt, a vampire may return to his coffin to protect his precious blood tokens. Return to your coffin too early, though, and you may miss all the fun. Then again, centuries of hunting should have taught you the folly of pushing your luck too far…
Till Dawn comes in a coffin-shaped box with approximately 120 cards, more than one hundred tokens, eight character cards, and a “night advancement” track.
It’s August 1981 in the midst of the Air Traffic Controller Strike. President Reagan has just ordered all controllers back to work. You determined to keep your job, have returned – only to find the situation is even more turbulent than before: more planes, less controllers, and high competition.
In this turbulent game you control 7 planes, of which 5 must reach your landing strip to win! You have three actions each turn with which you may:
- Take-Off – move one airplane onto the Air Currents
- Move across one Air Current
- Rotate – turn one air tile right or left one turn
- Swap – swap two tiles
Seems simple right? Not exactly. Rotating and Swapping can only be done if your planes are touching the tiles. The more planes you have on the board, the more power you have. In the mean time your opponent will be trying to get their planes in and pushing or crashing (yes you can collide into other planes) to prevent you from getting there first! You’ll be swapping, pushing, rotating, crashing, landing, taking-off, and triple pushing in this game of TURBULENCE.