Board Game News 33: Towers, Tin Cans and Thingamabobs

Well, we have some really exciting projects for you this week. King’s Armory brings Tower Defence to the table, while Dreaming Spires allows you to build your own Oxford College, I kid you not! As well as that we have Fortress Moon finally on Kickstarter and Iron and Ale coming back for a second go around. And as the head of the UK Gaming Media Network, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the little UK start up Dog-Eared Games who are working to bring an expansion to their card game Stak Bots to a table near you.

Really there is something for everyone one in here so dig in and don't forget to keep reading for Paul’s Essen choices in this week’s releases.

TABLETOP TOWER DEFENCE from the Kings Armory

The King’s Armory brings favourite online gaming genre to the world of board games

With over 44 million plays on Armor Games, tower defence games like Kingdom Rush and GemCraft are the meat and potatoes of internet gamers. A fan of the games himself, John Wrot! created a table-top version of tower defence that has been generating enthusiasm from gamers.

Third party reviewers, such as Rahdo and Undead Viking, have enthusiastically lauded the game.

Called The King’s Armory, this 1-7 player game boasts true tower defence: foes generated by the game cross the map to pillage the king’s armory at the other end. Gamers play heroes, who cooperatively control tower placement and recruit “hireables,” strategizing to destroy the foes before they make it to the armory. If the heroes are successful, the foes are vanquished and the king’s armory stays safe.

If the foes are successful, they take the armory and use its contents against the king’s own people.

Like online tower defence, it’s easy to learn, fun, and addicting.

Unlike online tower defence, however, one never runs out of levels or game play choices. With almost endless combinations of map arrangements, difficulty levels, heroes, recruits, equipment, reinforcements (a special class of assets that can be items, events, or enhancements), foes, and bosses, each and every game is a new experience. Game-play variety and dynamic characters with thoughtful back-stories give an RPG feel to the game



One of the most compelling features of The King’s Armory is that players can join or leave at any point without disrupting game balance. With each wave of foes, a player can be added or removed and the game adjusts accordingly. No more cancelled game nights because someone can’t make it. No more awkward plan changes when someone extra shows up. This game accommodates any game night, including solitaire play.

The King’s Armory went through a Kickstarter campaign during the summer of 2013 and is re-booting from Monday, October 28-Tuesday, November 24, 2013. Significant improvements to the campaign, including a substantially lower funding goal, high-quality content, and EU-friendly policies bode well for the re-boot.

For more information about The King’s Armory, visit:


Back for a second time around the guys over at Tableforged are taking another run at Kickstarter with Iron & Ale, this time with a lower funding goal and the option to ship internationally.

Iron and Ale is 100% Dwarf. It is a game of mining, fighting monsters, drinking and dwarven challenges. You are a Dwarven Lord challenging other players to become the true Dwarven King. To do this you must lead your clan to conquer the mountain and challenge other Dwarven Lords at the Meadhall. The Dwarven Lord with the most honour when the Mountain Deck is depleted wins.

With gorgeous artwork and lots of player interaction, Iron and Ale is already over halfway to its funding target. If you want to help push it over the top then check out this link or have a look at the video below for more information.

Dreaming Spires

Jeremy from Secret Games would like you all to know about his Kickstarter for Dreaming Spires.

Build an Oxford college, meet Tolkien, Wilde and Shelley and witness historical events in a thematic strategy game

Dreaming Spires, a love letter to Oxford from a game designer and two artist friends who have crafted a beautiful game around this original design.

Lead an Oxford college from the medieval era through to the modern day. Choose which buildings to build, which scholars to admit and how to act in exciting events which pit the colleges against one another.

The eccentric characters and tumultuous events of Oxford's history are brought to life in cards, featuring original illustrations, famous quotes and amusing written accounts. Discover a world of cobbled streets, misty quads and dreaming spires!

For more information watch the video below or check out the Kickstarter page where you can download the rulebook or the Print and Play version of the game.

Fortress Moon

Thorin Thompson wrote a guest piece for me a while back about his upcoming Kickstarter project, Fortress Moon, now the project is finally live and it needs your help to reach it’s goal.

FORTRESS MOON is a 2 to 4 player strategic boardgame set in a 1950's Retro Future. Will the Earth Forces conquer or be defeated?

FORTRESS MOON is a brand new 2-4 player boardgame created & developed by Father/Son Team Alan & Thorin Thompson.

Set in a Retro Future inspired by 1950's scifi films/novels, the game features unique mechanics by combining Strategic Unit Deployment with Tactical Dice Rolling Combat while also incorporating Phase Driven Card Playing.

The game will feature stunning artwork by current comic artists Buzz Setzer, Darrel Banks & Charles Barnett III.

For more check out the video below or click on the link

Eagle Games

November and December Winter Special!  

Select Knizia Games 50% off!

Through November and December, purchase any of the following games for 50% off MSRP:


Money rules the world! It doesn't matter whether you collect euros, dollars or yen as long as the exchange rate is in your favor. And the more you exchange, the more you can make - if you plan carefully and keep your wits about you. This light game provides an enthralling experience for families and gamers alike. Money is a necessary part of any game collection! MSRP: $21.99 Sale Price: $10.99

Details Here!

3-5 players | ages 10+ | 20-30 min.

High Society
It is one thing to be the richest family on the block... it's quite another to flaunt it successfully. High Society pits you against your neighbors in a race to reveal the most blue-blooded family in your midst. To win, you must acquire all the trappings of great wealth, avoid as many of the pitfalls as you can and still walk away with a huge pile of cash at the end of it all. This Reiner Knizia classic makes a great travel game and an easy one to introduce to friends and family. MSRP: $25.99 Sale Price: $12.99
Details Here!

3-5 players | ages 10+ | 30 min


Those pesky bugs just keep coming at you! Your job is to SWAT them right when they score the most points. But be quick or your fellow players will SWAT them first. Do you go for Sure Stings, or wait for Double-or-NoStings? Or maybe you try to get the most Swat-or-Nots or Zappers, since these can be worth even more points. MSRP: $11.99 Sale Price: $5.99

Details Here!

2-7players | ages 7+ | 30 min.


Times were mighty hard for miners during the Gold Rush. Rival miners fought over the rights to the few productive gold, silver and copper mine sites. Then came the Desperados. Those gold thieves and mine robbers showed up in all shapes and sizes. It was best to have the help of a reliable partner to fight 'em off. MSRP: $11.99 Sale Price: 


Details Here!

2-4 players | ages 10+ | 15-30 min.

Yin Yang

Yin Yang is an ancient Chinese philosophy, that two complementary forces exist in the universe. Many natural dualities-e.g. dark/light; male female- are examples of yin yang.One is not better than the other. Rather, both are necessary and a balance of both is optimal. In the card game Yin Yang, the player who best succeeds in balancing these two forces will be the winner. This trick-taking card game, challenges players to try and score "0" points. MSRP: $11.99 Sale Price: $5.99

Details Here!

3-5 players | ages 8+ | 30 min.

Heads up for Social Media Weekend Sales!

You work hard all week, and the weekend is the perfect time to play some games! To help you get your weekend started, Eagle & Gryphon games are running special 48 hour sales, but these sales are too good to tell you about here, (plus our boss might see them) so we are going to be running them exclusively on Facebook and Twitter (our boss doesn't even know what these are). So when the weekend comes around, be on the look out for a special treat! We have a feeling that the first sale might start this weekend on Friday, November 14th and end on Sunday, November 16th! 

Dawn: Rise of the Occulites Successfully Funded on Kickstarter!

Thanks to your help, Dawn passed the $50,000 mark on Kickstarter and was 200% funded! That means Eagle Games will be producing the FULL game with all 5 tribes! Thank you so much to everyone that funded us on Kickstarter and spread the word to promote the game! We could never have done it without your help!

If you missed out on the Kickstarter, the game will soon be listed on the Eagle Games Website for pre-order!

2-5 players | ages 13+ | 60-120 min.

        Follow the link if you would like to learn more about Dawn: Rise of the Occulites.

Help Eagle & Gryphon Games get to 800 likes on Facebook!

We don't like to think of ourselves as ego-maniacs, but you should totally follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Seriously, it's the only cool thing to do...Everyone else is doing it! Okay, fine, we'll tell you. We're going to do some special sales and giveaways that will be available to our followers when we hit 800 and 1000 likes on Facebook and 3000 follows on Twitter. We like you, do you "like" us?   

Games-playing at Extra-Life

A couple of our twitter followers sent us some great shots of them playing our games at Extra-Life! A great cause deserves great games! Thank you so much for representing us, guys!

Francis Drake played by The Cardboard Jungle, @CBJPodcast

Roll Through the Ages played by Watch it Played, @WatchItPlayed

Call of Cthulhu: The Writhing Dark

Tabitha Smith from Albino Dragon would like to bring to your attention some lovely Cthulhu based design from artist Shane Tyree. Check out some of the art and of course, if you like what you see don't forget to back the project.

Sample flourish

Dog-eared Games

Tom from Dog-Eared games would like you to know about the upcoming expansion to his fun little card game Stak Bots. Tom sent me a copy of the game recently so I’ll have a review for you soon, but until then check out the info for the expansion and the iOS version below.

Fun, quick and sneakily strategic! The next batch of Bots is ready for the production line! Get the expansion and the original game!

Stak Bots is a fun, deceptively simple and sneakily strategic battling card game suitable for all ages.

It can be a quick and casual filler game, or it can take up your evening with repeated battles and customisation.

Stak Bots IOS App

You can try out the 2 player version NOW, by playing the free IOS app, see what reviewers think further down the page, or watch Tom Vasel's video review.

Out This Week

Our favourite games broker is back from Essen and he’s brought some goodies with him… take it away Paul.

You can wait months for a Zombie Co-operative survival game to be released and then four arrive in the same week.

‘Zombicide Series 2 : Prison Outbreak’ can be played stand alone or as an expansion to the hugely popular ‘’Zombicide’.

‘Dark Darker Darkest’ Is David Ausloos’s (‘Panic Station’) first venture into zombie territory.

‘The Walking Dead: The Best Defence’ is a TV Franchise game.

My pick (based on Tom Vasel’s Video Review and the fantastic artwork) is ‘Carnival Zombie’ from Italian publisher Albo Pavo [Edit - this has just sold out - I will get some more for the week after - sign up on the back in stock alert if you would like a copy]

Quite a few Essen games  arrive on Tuesday.

‘Lost Legends’

‘Escape from the Temple Curse: Quest’

‘Mount Everest’ (More mountaineering from the designer of ‘K2’)

‘Viking Warriors of the North’

‘Packet Row’

‘Invaders’ - from Mark Chaplin, the designer of Revolver


‘Pasha’ (a Stefan Dorra dice roller that I quite fancy trying)

‘Rattus Cartus : Nobilis’

‘CV’ (amazing art work and rather entertaining dice rolling game of life choices)

'Archon' (and Promo)

'Florenza the Card Game'

Other releases

‘Canterbury’ – Andrew Park’s tile laying strategy game set in 6th century Kent

'Old World, New World' - Card game of exploration from Victory Point

‘Boxcars’ – a revamp of the 1974 pre-cursor to Rail Baron.

‘Exodus Proxima Centauri revised edition’ – better game play, less chrome than the original edition (which is in the specials section)

‘Geistesblitz 5 vor 12’ – (Geisteblitz but tougher...)

‘Polterfass’ - (barrels replacing dice as rolling objects)

'Dungeon Roll : Hero Booster pack one'

'Mars Needs Mechanics'

'True BLood : Eternal Life'

6 Lieutenants for Descent 2nd edition

'Gettysburg150' - The Hold the Line combat system make sit to the American Civil War

‘Roads & Boats’ isn’t here – It should be and If it does not arrive by Wednesday I will send out games that have been ordered with R&B to date and then send R&B on when it arrives at no extra cost.

Sale stuff

Some of my distributors are clearing out some excess stock and I picked up a few  that are actually good/decent games and am passing on the savings in my specials section -  ‘Revolver 2’, ‘Sutters Mill’, ‘Crown of Roses’ , ‘Il Vecchio’, ‘Duel of Giants’, ‘Urbanization’, ‘Goblins Inc’, ‘Al Rashid’ , ‘Lockomotive Works’ ‘Die Golden Ara’, ‘Colonial’ (one of the best games from 2011) and ‘O11’ are a few highlights.

Back in stock

‘Friday’, ‘Innovation echoes’, ‘7wonders’ and expansions ‘Leaders’ and ‘Cities’.

Price drop

Bioshock Infinite

Happy Gaming

Paul – Board Game Guru

And that’s about it, come back on Monday when we’ll have one, possibly two new guest posts!

Until then, have fun gaming,