Tabletop Kickstarter Spotlight – October 2015

Tabletop Kickstarter Spotlight – October 2015

Crowdfunding is great – a way for creatives to avoid the hassle of publishing companies and other bureaucratic obstacles, instead simply making what they want and delivering it to fans. And I am not the only one who thinks so. Over the last few years, the crowdfunding phenomenon has exploded, with sites such as Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and Pozible becoming flooded with projects. To help you wade through this flood, I will share with you my pickings from the Tabletop section of Kickstarter, in the hope of providing an interesting and varied sample of projects you may find exciting.

Wolf & Hound

by Ninja Star Games


Wolf & Hound is a 2-versus-2 partnership game with adorable art, simple mechanics, teamwork, and deep strategy. I should probably admit, I am a sucker for cute animals, and the promotional video for Wolf & Hound certainly helped this project catch my eye. The concept of the game is simple – you are a shepherd trying to protect your flock from wolves. To win, you must chase off all the enemy players while protecting your own. Wolves chase away sheep, while your loyal hound retrieves lost sheep. Each player holds a basic hand of number cards, from which one can be played per turn. These cards move either the Wolf or Hound (depending on their colour) around the wheel, which makes up the centre of the game board. If your turn begins with either Wolf or Hound in front of you, then their effect activates. A simple concept, if you were playing ‘every man for himself’. However, add the fact that you always need to be thinking about protecting your partner’s sheep as well as your own and things become more complicated. Although the game is intended as a 2-versus-2 partnership game, there are provisions in the rules for playing with 2 or 3 players. Also included are additional cards for ‘Advanced Game Play’, which mix up the base mechanics of the game for increased re-playability. Wolf & Hound looks like a very professionally designed and developed project that will bring a fresh style of play to your table.

Read more or back this project on Kickstarter 

Expedition: The Live Adventure Card Game

by Todd Medema

Many creatives have attempted to bridge the gap between tabletop roleplaying games and simple fantasy adventure board/card games. Expedition looks like it’s taking a pretty good stab at this ambitious goal. The aim of Expedition seems to be to create a fantasy role-playing experience that is easier to pick up and play than a traditional RPG, such as Dungeons and Dragons, but more immersive than some of the simpler options on the market, such as Munchikin. To achieve this, Expedition uses a combination of decks of cards and an integrated smartphone app. To get started with Expedition, players pick an Explorer (e.g. ‘Dark Elf, Retired Guard Captain), choose a name, pick a class (Music, Ranged, Melee or Magic), which grants you a deck of abilities relevant to that class, learn 6 of those abilities, and buy equipment, the properties of which are all neatly represented on cards. After that you are ready to start playing. Trying to make role-playing games more accessible through creative strategies such as those employed by Expedition appeals to me greatly. I’ve previously purchased Dungeons and Dragons spell cards, in order to avoid the hassle of looking up magic rules every time I want to cast a spell, and they have been great in assisting the flow of play. The combat example given on Expedition’s project page is very promising; however, I’m just not sure where the story component of role-playing with Expedition comes into things. Presumably it is flexible, and could be adapted to work (thematically) with a range of fantasy settings. It’s a great base concept that I’d love to trial for myself.


P.S. During writing, this project was canceled, but I’ve opted to keep it in this month’s post as the team behind Expedition have not given up on their game! Instead they are opting to do an improved launch in April in response to backer feedback. So keep an eye out for this one in 2016. You can follow the progress of Expedition here.

Read more or back this project on Kickstarter 

Boom Chicka Meow Wow

by Johan Öhrvall

Boom Chicka Meow Wow (officially the most amazing name for anything ever) is a bidding card game in which players must amass points by winning the right combination of cats. Each round begins by drawing a cat, players then pick a card to bid for that cat, the winner takes the cat, and points are awarded. Mechanically Boom Chicka Meow Wow looks to work very similarly to other card bidding games, such as Diamonsters, however the twist for this title comes in the function of the cards. Instead of just ordinary numbers, certain cards have special effects that cancel out other cards. Early in the game it seems there would be a lot of guessing going on; however, it is easy to see how strategy and bluffing would quickly become important in a game of Boom Chicka Meow Wow. As well as what looks like solid gameplay, the rules are very well explained and the art for this title is easy to love.

Read more or back this project on Kickstarter 

Clear for Takeoff

by Hagen Temeryazev

Clear for Takeoff is a really interesting title, as it claims to be “the most realistic aviation boardgame in the world”… And probably is, seeing as the game’s writer, Hagen Temeryazev, has been flying planes for seventeen years and grew up with a pilot for a father. Players take on the roles of owners of competing airlines at John F. Kennedy airport in the 1960s and the game’s visuals stick strongly to this theme. As Temeryazev states, the 60s were “a time when flight was a real adventure and airlines were just beginning to conquer the skies”, and that feeling of discovery seems very present in Clear for Takeoff.  To win, you must be the first player to successfully get all your aircraft off the runway. Players achieve this by collecting and playing cards that get your aircraft closer to takeoff. Conditional modifiers, such as weather, passenger problems, and mechanical hold-ups will affect the course of play. Clear for Takeoff looks like a great new addition to the world of Euro Games.

Read more or back this project on Kickstarter 

Since first travelling to Japan at the age of fifteen, most of my life has revolved around trying to learn Japanese, and unravel the mysteries of the country’s culture. Gaming ranks just behind this obsession. I enjoy video games – particularly RPGs and Strategy – but my main interest is in tabletop role playing games and board games. Writing ranks third – luckily I get plenty of opportunities to write about Japan and games, so it all works out.

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