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Watch your Back: Week March 13 to 19

March is one of the busiest months of the year crowdfunding-wise, and this week we are going to see the release of 7 new games. Here's what they are:


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Malhya: Lands of Legends is a 1-5 player cooperative adventure game that promises to deliver land exploration, dungeon crawling, riddle-solving, hero-building, and anything a gamer's heart desires. It is a narrative campaign game consisting of 9 chapters with choose-your-own-adventure elements. Solo players will have to control at least 2 heroes. Heroes can be equipped with weapons and items, and spend action and movement points. Throughout the game, they will have to perform dice-based skill tests.


Each round is split into phases: in the Travel phase, the hero party journeys across the map and events take place depending on the weather, the time of day, and the terrain type they land in. In the Exploration phase, you will consult the accompanying booklet to see the details of the location they find themselves in, and any possible encounters with enemies. If such encounters occur, characters can choose whether to enter stealth or combat mode. The Kickstarter will go live on March 15.

Image source: BGG

Personal opinion: The only issue I see with this game is that it doesn't stand out from the crowd. Both the artwork and the gameplay are standard fantasy adventure fare which is not necessarily bad but it could use a bit more personality.


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Regular BGGers may remember Teburu: the electronic system that CMON was supposed to combine with Zombicide and turn the board game into a glorified app-based game. Those plans failed, and the system is now introduced through The Bad Karmas and the Curse of the Zodiac, a 1-4 player cooperative adventure that pits the heroes against 12 baddies, each inspired by a zodiac sign.


The Teburu board has sensors that detect the minis you place on it and send the necessary info to your tablet/smartphone. Teburu dice are recognized by the app as well, and the result is immediately recorded onscreen. Boss miniatures have led lights on their bases, showing which side is their most vulnerable. It is launching on Kickstarter on March 15.

Image source: BGG

Personal opinion: I am a luddite when it comes to board games, so for me this idea sounds like a bad idea. I actually feel sorry for the people in the picture who had to play the game via their phones instead of player boards and cards. It's a sad spectacle.


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Now let's take a look at something completely different, set in a magical forest where druids compete for power. Oak is a 1-4 player worker placement game, with the solo mode pitting you against an AI. You start with 3 druid pawns which you will later be able to upgrade into elders with fancy plastic accessories. You have a hand of cards that let you send your druids to different locations on the board, enlist the powers of creatures, and perform actions at the temple. It is launching on Gamefound on March 14. Here is the preview page.

Image source: BGG

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Moving on to Onus! Traianus, a stand-alone expansion to the 1-4 player card-driven wargame Onus: Rome vs. Carthage. You can play as the Roman Empire, the Celts, the Dacian Kingdom, the Germans, the Parthian Empire, or the Sarmatians and Bastarnae. Units have either defensive or offensive skills, and players can deploy them, charge forward, perform various kinds of attacks or have them flee if their morale drops. In the solo mode, you play against a dice-driven AI and follow its flow chart. It will launch on Kickstarter on March 15.

Image source: BGG

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Another expansion launching on March 16 is Micro Dojo: Loyalty + Deceit. Micro Dojo is a tiny worker placement game in which you send your meeples to gain resources, activate buildings or fulfill an objective with the aim of earning the favour of the Shogun. The expansion adds two rival clans, the Shinchoku and the Tsuyo, and a solo mode against an AI.

Image source: BGG

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Fans of cyberpunk will probably rejoice with the launch of Tamashii: Chronicle of Ascend, a 1-4 player cooperative adventure game by Awaken Realms Lite. It is a story-driven bag guilder in which heroes can change bodies and upgrade their abilities. To activate your hero, you have to figure out a little programming puzzle with the placement of action tokens on your player board.


You will explore location tiles and try to remain unnoticed by the robotic enemies. Combat is performed by rolling a die and spending tokens to deal damage. The game comes with scenarios that you have to complete to progress the story. It is launching on March 15, and you may check the preview page.

Image source: BGG

Personal opinion: I like the setting but not the gameplay. Bag building is one of my least favourite mechanisms, with programming coming at a close second. I'll leave it to brainy guys like Zerbique.


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We close off by mentioning that Cthulhu Island which was featured in last week's preview was postponed and will launch on March 15.

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Zerbique
Zerbique
Mar 16, 2022

Ouch, I'm pretty disappointed with Tamashii: Chronicles of Ascend. I mean, I wanted to be a bit excited by the campaign page to stop feeling like a zombie, and all I see is minis I don't care about, listings of colorful stuff that I don't know what it is used for, and very vague info on the game.


The "Gameplay highlights" section is literally 3 paragraphs. The first one is only random lore, the second says that "You can hack new bodies by uploading your soul to them!", which sounds a bit cool, if cryptic (at least it sheds light on the game's title), then I read:


"The entire world is closely linked within a type of transcendent network. Players…


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The specific thing that gets me about Teburu, and about app-based games in general, is that the phone is a multipurpose platform. There are plenty of games which favour a head-down approach, where I'm concentrating on my own player board more than I'm talking with my fellow players; but the more I do that with a phone, the more likely I am to be distracted by something else that is already on the phone.


(This is separate from my general feeling that if I wanted to play a computer game I'd do that; I spend a lot of both work and play time in front of screens already and for me boardgaming is a different class of activity.)

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Cadet Stimpy
Cadet Stimpy
Mar 14, 2022

To me a good example (one of many) of fluff/shit you don't need, is Volarees Guild’s Dragon, for Volfyirion Guilds. 12cm/4.72in tall.

Image Source: tabula.games


Then there's the mountain in The Game of Gnomes. The Meeple is for scale - it doesn't come with the game. I played it with my ol' Gamin' Pal.

Image Source: BGG

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Cadet Stimpy
Cadet Stimpy
Mar 14, 2022
Replying to

"Huge-less" - I like it! If I recall correctly, the 'mountain' even had holes in the back so you could mount it on a wall. 🙂

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SnowDragonka
SnowDragonka
Mar 14, 2022

Somehow I really dislike the neon graphic design of Tamashii, good thing the gameplay doesn't speak to me either :D I always go through these and any time I see "solo is agains AI", I automatically pass. Which is curious, cause Tiwanaku has AI too and I'm backing that. Another word that scares me away instantly these days is "adventure" promising oh so many things... and somehow it leaves me cold.

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SnowDragonka
SnowDragonka
Mar 15, 2022
Replying to

You don't picture everything behind "Chronicles of Ascend"? That's so weird, such a descriptive name. It's in a similar vein as "Book of Words" -.-

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Cadet Stimpy
Cadet Stimpy
Mar 12, 2022

Earlier this week I contacted Prometheus Game Labs about how to obtain a copy of Micro Dojo. Ben replied saying it would be part of the Micro Dojo: Loyalty + Deceit Expansion Campaign. So getting the base game will be easy. 🙂

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