Category Archives: Kickstarter
Hi Everyone! I’ve been having a bit of writer’s block lately and I finally realized why. It’s because with the Scoville Kickstarter launching soon my brain has been floating in hyperspace. I completely missed October. And I don’t think there’s been a night so far in November where I haven’t dreamed about the game of the Kickstarter or the artwork. I might be losing my mind.
Today is a Friday which would normally be a Review day or a Design Me day. But I’d rather write about Scoville and give you an update.
Art by Joshua Cappel
I couldn’t be more excited with the artwork choice by Tasty Minstrel. If you’ve read my board game reviews then you know I commonly list artwork as either a positive or negative for games. That’s because artwork is a big deal for me.
So when Tasty Minstrel told me that Joshua was on board I was elated. I love his style and the flavor that he adds to the game. Here are a couple of samples of his artwork. These are not images from Scoville. The first is from Garden Dice and the second is the board for Belfort:
That’s some awesome stuff. If you haven’t played Belfort you should really go check it out. And make sure you look for all the cool easter eggs on the main board!
While the prototype is basic and I have not added much artwork to it, I have had a vision for the artwork basically from the start. And if the funding hits a certain level then that vision will turn into reality! I’m so excited to see what Joshua does with the game!
Well, unfortunately I can’t really say very much. But I’ve seen the KS preview and I can tell you things are moving along nicely! We’ve got a great lineup of stretch goals. I’m probably not supposed to say this and I might get in trouble for it, but Pepper Farming Meeples may or may not be one of the stretch goals. *wink wink*
I’m also probably not supposed to share this potential stretch goal (peppers instead of cubes). So don’t tell anyone! (or tell the world – this awesomeness should be shared!). Here is a quickly done example of what the peppers could look like. The colors aren’t perfect and I believe the platinum pepper may have a nice shiny coat, but don’t hold me to that!
So that’s all I can share today. I’m hoping to be able to tease you with some artwork next week, but let’s not count on that. But for those of you who are attending the Board Game Geek Convention from the 20th to the 24th I will be there demoing the game basically all day and all night. If there are other games you are interested in checking out, then let me refer you to this geeklist:
So if you want a demo I’ll probably be running them every hour on the hour. But if you miss the top of the hour, don’t let that stop you from checking it out! It’s gonna be an awesome time!
Every once in a while a really awesome game goes up on Kickstarter that I just have to talk about. This time it’s a game that aligns perfectly with what this website is all about – beer and board games!
Dice Hate Me Games is currently Kickstarting their newest game, Brew Crafters. This is a game design by Ben Rosset, whom you may know from the awesome game Mars Needs Mechanics. I had the privilege of meeting Ben at GenCon this past August and I can safely say he’s an awesome guy.
Let’s Brew some Beer!
In Brew Crafters you are a craft brewer looking to make it big. Unfortunately you’ve opened your craft brewery at the same time as the other players. You all are starting small with limited equipment. Through a worker placement mechanic you can send your workers to obtain ingredients, perform research, obtain better equipment, and do all the awesome things a brewer would do.
Over the course of the game you will be upgrading and expanding your facility. Here’s what a starting and fully upgraded facility looks like in Brew Crafters:
There is a great amount of competition in the game as brewers try to be the first to brew each different style of beer, or have the best tasting room to lure in customers, or upgrade to the finest facility.
If you like beer or board games or both, then you should consider backing Brew Crafters by Dice Hate Me Games!
It’s Friday, which means it’s Board Game Review day! Today I’m reviewing Belfort by Tasty Minstrel Games, which currently has an awesome expansion available on Kickstarter (KS link) for only $20. So since the Kickstarter campaign is live I figured now is as good a time as ever to post this review!
In Belfort players take on the role of a builder who has been hired to build the castle Belfort. Unfortunately, other builders were also hired in a mix-up. So you are tasked with being the best builder of the castle. To do that you have to make effective use your elves and dwarves with a worker placement mechanic in various spots throughout the city. Leftover elves and dwarves can be used to claim wood, stone, metal, or gold. Decisions in this game get tough and heavy. But that makes it awesome. The other part of the game involves building the buildings of the castle to claim a majority of a district. That’s how players can obtain points, which are needed for victory. When you’re ready to visit the Pub for some Master Dwarf action, or the Blacksmith to get some metal, then grab your friends and sit down for a game of Belfort!
Here’s a look at all of the awesomeness that is Belfort (image from BoardGameGeek.com):
I’ve played this game a bunch and I totally love it. But the real question is who can find the Ton Ton from Hoth on the game board first?
- ARTWORK: I must start with the artwork. This game is so visually stunning that I sometimes set it up just to stare at it (not true). It just looks so good that I must give a shout out to artist Joshua Cappel! Excellent work!
- STRATEGY: This game looks too fun to be a heavy strategy game, but that’s exactly what this is! There is a lot of strategy behind each decision from the first turn throughout the whole game. Players have to optimize their workers capabilities and then optimize which building to build and where to build it. There’s a lot to think about in this game!
- THEME: The theme of building a castle with your hired elves and dwarves is a lot of fun.It is easy to get immersed in this game and feel like you are really putting your elves and dwarves to work. And everything works together thematically, which always makes a game better!
- ANALYSIS PARALYSIS PRONE: While I am a player that enjoys heavy strategy and tough decisions, there are some players that I play games with that would struggle mightily with indecision throughout this game. There would be times where they wouldn’t know what to do or why they are doing it. Beware that this can lead to long games.
- SETUP TIME: This game has a ton of components. Thus, it requires a higher than average setup time. If you know you’re playing this game during your board game night perhaps you should set it up beforehand!
Designer Perspective – What I Would Change:
Belfort is a brilliantly designed game of worker placement and area control. The upcoming expansion looks like it will enhance the game greatly, so I won’t offer anything that the expansion is already doing (or at least that I know of it doing). If I were to change anything I think I’d add the ability of players to swap buildings between districts. This would add a huge “screw-you” factor to the game, but might also unbalance the game. By being able to swap my Inn in district 1 with you Inn in District 2 I could gain the majority in both! Bonus!
I would normally pair this game with a heavy beer since the game is a heavy game. However, I just can’t imagine the worker elves and dwarves sipping a heavy, gentlemen’s beer after a hard day of work on the castle. So my preferred beer pairing is one that drinks easily, tastes great, and would work perfectly in the hands of elves and dwarves. And that beer is New Glarus‘ Cabin Fever Honey Bock. It is a very tasty beer brewed with clover honey, but not too much. And it goes great with brats, BBQ, and Belfort!
This was at the top of my Christmas list a couple year’s ago and it has lived up to that! Belfort is a great game that is a ton of fun to play. There is deep strategy, awesome artwork, and a lot of tense decisions. I can’t wait for the expansion to come out! I will rate Belfort 9 out of 10 on the BoardGameGeek rating system!
One of my favorite game publishing companies is Tasty Minstrel Games. Why are they one of my favorites? I have two reasons:
- They publish awesome games including Homesteaders, Kings of Air and Steam, Ground Floor, Village, Noblemen, Belfort, and the topic of this post: Eminent Domain.
- They are very open and engaging about their business and they share a lot of awesome information about the board game publishing side of things. Check out Michael Mindes’ “BizOfPlay” Podcast on Soundcloud.com.
For those reasons I don’t hesitate when they launch a new project on Kickstarter. I know that their game developer, Seth Jaffee, will have done an amazing job making sure the game is refined and awesome. But most importantly, TMG’s games are fun to play!
So today I wanted to inform you about their latest Kickstarter campaign which is currently live. It is for the expansion for Eminent Domain. It is called Eminent Domain: Escalation (ED:E). It is the first expansion for the hit game.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the game here is a little background. Eminent Domain is a deck-building game with a space-based theme. Players are trying to settle the most planets, research the most technology, and gain the most influence. Each turn you choose a card from your hand and do the action listed. These actions are things like Gain a Fighter, Colonize a Planet, Survey New Planets, and Research Technology. After performing the action the player will take a card from one of the piles on the table. They then perform the Role of that card. These roles allow the player whose turn it is to reap some benefit. Then all the other players can “follow” by doing the role or “dissent” by drawing a card into their hand. That’s basically how a turn works. To learn more check out Tom Vasel’s review of the game:
I really enjoy this game. I first played it last year in the GenCon library. This expansion looks like it will really add to the game. It adds the capability for a 5th player. It allows for direct conflict. It adds new technology cards. And it will add different starting scenarios, which adds a lot of flavor and replayability.
I highly recommend backing the game on Kickstarter. You can back the game and expansion for $50 or if you already own the game you can back the expansion for $25. Please let me know if you have any questions about the game or TMG. If I can’t answer them I’ll point you in the right direction. You can pledge on the Kickstarter project page!