Hey gang! Let’s get into some of the awesome games out on Kickstarter this month, shall we?

Coloma

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Coloma is a wild west themed worker placement game that offers more than just a fun theme. There’s plenty of twists and innovations in the gameplay as well. My favorite mechanic is the simultaneous action selection – which is done in the center of a board on a big wagon wheel. If too many players select the same action, then they bust and don’t get the ‘boom’ bonus that they’d normally get. This adds a unique tactical element to Coloma. In most secret action selection games, players simply choose their action based on what they want to do; the element of surprise is merely a bluffing or surprise element, whereas in Coloma there’s a bit of a gambit. Do you select the action that you know is best for you, or do you go with something else because your opponents might pick the same thing? Of course, they’re thinking the same thing, so you could risk it and go for it. It’s a great twist that lends itself well to the wild west gold rush theme of the game.

coloma2.jpgDuring their turn, players must gain resources, build businesses, and move their wagon across the map, and… turn the center wheel, which alters the meta game as turns move on. Better still, when the wheel hits ‘high noon’ the round ends in a shootout between an ever-growing gang of outlaws and all the players. This is another interesting twist in Coloma – adding a slightly co-operative element to the game which would otherwise be strictly competitive. If the players can team up and stop the outlaws, they’ll all share the rewards. However, if they fail to do so, then the rewards drop for everyone.

Again, this all works wonderfully with the theme of Coloma. And speaking of theme, this game has it in spades. Gold rushing pioneers fighting bandit outlaws, building a town on the outskirts of civilization, saloons, poker halls, and brothels, and fabulous deluxe edition components ranging from custom gold nuggets, a metal first player badge, clay poker chip coins, and a ton of adorable wild west themed meeples. Mmmmmhm. Not mad at it! If Coloma sounds like the game for you, be sure to check it out on Kickstarter!

Crimson Company

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Crimson Company is a highly competitive 2-player card game. Frequenters of my blog know of my love for 2-player games, and I’m super pumped to add Crimson Company to my collection. The focus of Crimson Company is on extremely well-balanced competitive gameplay. There’s very little hidden information (the only bit is the deck, which both players share), and the designers have gone to great lengths to ensure there’s no archetypal strategy vs. archetypal strategy problem (the paper-rock-scissors issue that plagues competitive card games like MTG).

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In Crimson Company, you’re assembling a team of sellswords to take control of the three castles at the center of the table. You and your opponent use gold to bid against each other on the tableau of four available sellswords. This bidding element is a fun addition to the competitive card game genre, which usually uses some sort of personal deckbuilding or resource management/gathering to build your engine. Once purchased, you decide to place your sellswords into one of three lanes (each with its own castle to control). This is where the tactics come in. The abilities of each card can combo off one another in the lane, so you’ve got to choose wisely where you place them. Once a player has four cards in a lane, it’s scored and the castle goes to the player with the highest score.

Crimson Company promises to be a highly replayable competitive experience, and I can’t wait to add it to my collection! If Crimson Company sounds like one for you, be sure to swing on by the Kickstarter campaign page.

Tiny Epic Tactics

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Gamelyn Games has done it again. I have more of their Tiny Epic games than I care to say (we’re talking multiple cubes in my game shelf here…), and I am not upset to expand that number. Tiny Epic Tactics has once again upped the bar – something I didn’t think was even possible hot off the heels of Tiny Epic Zombies. This newest installment in the series takes a page from the turn-based strategy video games that have grown popular on mobile platforms, largely made famous from titles like Final Fantasy Tactics – a hit from my childhood (yes, I’m that old).

Tiny Epic Tactics uses modular 3D terrain to create a map where players can either duke it out, cooperate to fight against spawned monsters, or even play the game’s solo mode.

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True to the genre, Tiny Epic Tactics sees players using a team of adventurers with specialized skills (fighters, wizards, rogues, and beasts) to fight over the battlefield. Of course, Gamelyn is delivering the high quality components that they’re known for. Their signature IteMeeples are absent, but I have a feeling they won’t be missed – Tiny Epic Tactics includes custom character tokens, gorgeous cards, custom action dice, tons of resource tokens, a map scroll, and those ingenous nested boxes that form the 3D battlefield. Check out the innovative use of the underside of the boxes as well, which double as dungeon interiors:

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I’m beyond excited for Tiny Epic Tactics, even though I’m still getting a lot of table time from Gamelyn’s previous titles! Be sure to head over to the Kickstarter page and check it out for yourself.

Winterborne

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Winterborne is a fantastic indie take on the Euro kingdom building genre. Players are each founders of their own clan where they must build their kingdom and survive the Norse winter. As one would expect from a game like this, players expand their empire with tiles, manage resources, and make use of some specific powers to win the game. However, where Winterborne mixes things up a bit is by adding deckbuilding as the primary method for managing your actions. Many games rely on the somewhat tired worker placement mechanic (don’t hate me here for saything that. It can still be done and done well, but often it seems like designers just lazily use worker placement to fuel an action economy instead of using something that would work better). Instead, Winterborne deftly combines deckbuilding to give players a sense of growth and progression as their clan expands over the course of the winter.

What’s even better about Winterborne is there’s multiple paths to victory, making it not only strategic but highly replayable – each game is different from the last. Radho has a great rundown of the game that you should definitely check out if Winterborne sounds like your cup of mead:

And be doubly sure to check out the Kickstarter page for Winterborne as well!

Until next time, gang. Keep it plucky!
Nick

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