Kickstarter Weekly - A New Look!

Hey it's Friday and that means... Well, here at TOG that could mean just about anything. But for this particular Friday it means we're bringing you another edition of Kickstarter Weekly! belleinsidebannerfullgroup

This week, isn't just any old Kickstarter Weekly, it's a special trial run at a video version of our world famous Kickstarter Weekly! Ok, maybe "world famous" is a stretch, but KSW has become a staple around here, and so as we've expanded our reach into other mediums we thought we'd try this on for size! So, here it is Kickstarter Weekly! [youtube=]


Belle of the Ball

Fleet - Arctic Bounty

Havoc & Hijinks

Incredible Expeditions

A Duel Betwixt Us

King's Forge

The King's Armory

Let us know what you think of the new format! We'd love your feedback!

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A Double-Take Review of King's Forge

kingsforgeThere's a new dice-rolling game on Kickstarter! Do you have what it takes to claim the King's Forge and become the greatest blacksmith in all the land? Let's see what this game is all about!

The Overview

You are trying to be the first player to craft four items for the king. If more than one player accomplishes this feat on the same turn, whoever crafted the highest-valued item wins.

The Components

Dice, dice, baby...

91 dice, including:

  • 42 black Metal dice
  • 22 green Wood dice
  • 14 red Gem dice
  • 10 blue Magic dice
  • 2 white Library dice
  • 1 purple Cemetery die

53 cards, including:

  • 26 Craft cards
  • 18 Gather cards
  • 4 Storage cards
  • 4 Black Market cards
  • 1 Player One card

4 tokens: 2 yellow "Automatic 6" tokens and 2 green "+1/+1" tokens

The Setup

Everyone gets a Storage card and five black Metal dice.

Set out the four Black Market cards. Then you'll choose which Craft cards to use in the game—between 9 and 13, depending on the number of players. You sort them according to their worth (a number between 1 and 48), place the three least-valuable ones out on the table, and then put the rest of the cards splayed out above the three low ones, with the dice icons visible to all.

Then take the 18 Gather cards, separate out the two Mine cards and the two Forest cards, and then shuffle the remaining cards and choose seven randomly. Place them facedown in a pile near the Black Market cards.

We gather here today...

The Cards

These are complex and a key part of the game, so they deserve their own section.

Gather cards are unique cards, each with an upper and lower half. When you claim one of these cards, you'll choose which half you're going to do on that turn and "pay" a number of dice, depending on the card. The Gather cards have squares on them. White squares mean you can choose any die to fulfill that. A green square means you can only use a green die to pay for that square. A red is just like green—only red!! And a square that's half blue and half red means either color will work. So one card might have you paying any one die to get a black die. Or another might have you paying two green dice to get a red die. Or yet another might have you pay two dice (one of which you'll lose forever) in order to change any 1s rolled to 6s.

There are also Black Market cards. Every dice spent here is lost forever, but it will allow you to get that green or red die you desperately need.

Crafting cards have a number of dice on the bottom (between 1 and 6), of differing colors. Each die on the cards has a number on it as well, and that's the minimum number you need on that color in order to craft that item. So the lowest-valued item (the Anvil) takes three black dice and at least 2 on each in order to craft it. The Battle Axe takes a black 4, black 5, black 6, green 4, red 4, and blue 4.

The Gameplay

The game is divided into two phases: the Gather phase and the Crafting phase.

First deal four of the Gather cards face-up to the center of the table, and then each player grabs any dice on his or her Storage card.

Now each player in turn order can either:

  • Claim a Gather card.
  • Take a Black Market Action and ditch a Gather card.
  • Pass

To take the Gather card, you just pay for it with the required dice, and place it in front of you. (And if you get any dice from the action, you grab the dice and put them on your Storage card. You'll get them next turn.) Then you deal out a new Gather card and it's the next player's turn. If you take a Black Market action, you pay for it, grab the dice and put them on your Storage card for next turn, as normal, and then you choose and discard one of the face-up Gather cards. Or you can pass. If you're the first person to pass, you get to choose either a black die and add it to your current pool of dice. Or you can grab a "+1/+1" token, which allows you to add 1 to two different dice during the upcoming Crafting phase.

The dice you start the turn are all you use over both phases, so it could be that you don't want to gather anything and only craft, or vice versa. But those dice are it. That Gather phase if over if everyone passes, or if there are no more faceup Gather cards and at least one person has passed.

In the Crafting phase, each player in turn order rolls the remaining dice he or she has, manipulates them if possible (due to Gather card abilities or tokens you might have), and then tries to craft an item. You have to have the correct dice colors with the correct (minimum) values in order to attempt it.

Five is right out!

Editor's Note: In our video review we were playing a rule wrong. In the rules-set we received, it said in one spot that you could only craft one item, and in another that you can craft as many as you want. We only noticed the "one craft" rule, so we playing that incorrectly, and mentioned that incorrectly in the video. Please forgive us. And play correctly.

One of the key mechanisms in the game is stealing. A player in later turn order can steal an item that you're trying to craft on that turn. In order to do that they only have to meet the dice values you already have, and then at least one of the dice has to have a greater value. So if I try to build the Anvil with a 2, 2, 2, you could steal it with a 2, 2, 3. And then there's weeping and gnashing of teeth...

A player further down in order could also steal the item from the player who stole it from you! After everyone has a chance to craft or steal, you reset things, gather back your dice, and shuffle up the Gather cards and start a new round.

The first person to craft four items (you play through the full Crafting phase) wins. If more than one person accomplishes that on the turn, whichever of those people who crafted the item with the highest value wins.

The Verdict

Firestone—This is a good game! I'm not a big fan of dice-rollers, but the way you can manipulate them here makes this a dice-roller I actually enjoy!

Jeremiah—I enjoy a good dice roller, and this is a good dice roller. I love that there is much more than just dice-rolling going on here too!

Firestone—I used to think the stealing mechanism was too powerful. I might still think it is, but after some thoughtful back-and-forth email discussion with the designer, I'm coming around. I never thought it was enough o a problem to keep someone from playing.

Jeremiah—I never had a problem with it. I felt thematically it was perfect. Maybe stealing isn't the proper term. It's more of an "I made a better object than you did so mine got accepted by the king. Maybe you shouldn't produce such sub-standard wares and you wouldn't have to worry about this sort of thing happening, and no, you don't get a consolation prize for under performing!" mechanic. Or you could just say it's stealing.

Firestone—I can't really comment on components since what we played was a prototype version, but I LOVE the artwork I've seen so far on this. It's cool, colorful and evocative. I hope it reaches some stretch goals that allow them to produce some slick dice, too.

Jeremiah—Yeah, I'm pulling for the cool dice. I like dice. I own a lot of them, and the dice in the prototype were sort of boring and smaller than standard dice. The artwork we're seeing on the Kickstarter page really puts the game over the top. Having pretty pictures on a card doesn't make it play any better, but lets face it: We're a visual culture, and those sort of ascetics make a difference.

Jeremiah—I've played a handful of 2-player games now, and the game seems to benefit from multiple player interactions. It's still fun with only 2 , but it gets really fun with 3-4 players!

Firestone—Yeah, I think more is better on this one. Some guys in the group played 2-player, but they thought it wasn't as good as multiplayer—which they'd also both played.

Firestone Final Thoughts—My gaming group played this two times in a row the other night, and that almost never happens—even with published games, let alone a prototype. I play a lot of prototype and prerelease games, and this is one of the best I've played in a long time. I can say without hesitation: Put this on the table! Gamers! Nongamers! Youth groups! I think this would fit them all.

Jeremiah Final Thoughts —There's a lot to like about King's Forge! From solid well thought out mechanics, down to the little details with some cool geeky references. It's those little touches that make a big difference when you're sitting at the table. I've had a lot of fun with this one! The theme is cool, and completely friendly to any group of folks you'd want to play with! Without a doubt I recommend you put this on the table!

You can check out our video review below. And head over to the Kickstarter page to jump in on this one! Thanks for reading!


A Video Double-Take Review of King's Forge

kingsforgeWe get a lot of prototypes to review. Some of them are awesome. And some of them are the Nickelback of games. Today we turn our sights to the Kickstarter game King's Forge by Clever Mojo Games and Game Salute. How's that game? I'm glad you asked...


Thanks for watching! We hope this video gave you a good overview of the game. As you can tell, we liked it.

Contests, Updates, and Podcasts! Oh My!

Hey Everyone! Jeremiah checking in with you to give you some cool updates and news!

We announced earlier this week that we are giving away a copy of Fluxx: The Board Game to our YouTube subscribers, so head over to our YouTube Channel, click subscribe and tell your friends!

Check out the video after the jump for all kinds of great news and info on what you can expect from TOG in the very near future!

And yes! We have recorded our first episode of the Theology of Games Podcast! We'll be going through the process of getting it listed in iTunes and we'll let you know when and where you can find that as soon as humanly possible! [youtube=]

Don't forget those interweb things!

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Thanks for reading and watching!

Kickstarter Weekly—August 1, 2013

Well it's Thursday and you know what that means... It's not yet Friday. But never fear because we're here with another installment of Kickstarter Weekly, the place where we make our recommendations and let you know what's a poppin' over on Kickstarter. Let's jump in, shall we?

BigArtKing's Forge - Clever Mojo Games

Go back this project! We have both played the prototype (and will be posting our written AND video Double-Take on it soon!). This dice-builder offers up lots of great decision making moments, a bit of a take that element, and lots of ways to tweak your dice rolls. It's super easy to learn, play and teach. A pledge of $39 gets you a copy of this game and it's money well spent! Check out the full campaign here!

betwixtA Duel Betwixt Us - Game Salute

This nifty little 2-player dueling card game takes card dueling into the realm of an old-timey gentlemen's duel. Loaded with lots of humor and jest, the one looks like a lot of fun! In just about 24 hours the campaign is over 60% funded, so you can bet there's going to be all kinds of stretch goaly goodness coming for this one! A $35 pledge gets you the game shipped to your door in the US and UK! We'll be interviewing the game's co-designer Laurence Honderick next week so stay tuned for that! You can check out the campaign here, and be sure to watch the entertaining and informative video on this one!

giant meeplesGiant Meeples - Gamelyn Game

Gamelyn Games founder Michael Coe has found a great niche with these awesome, sturdy, and just super-cool-to-look-at meeples. They were introduced to the gaming world through Dungeon Heroes, and since then Gamelyn has been releasing different sets of meeples for gamers to use, give to kids to play with, use in story telling, or display proudly. The latest installment in this line is a set of GIANT MEEPLES! These things look great, could be used as a set of book ends, or a centerpiece in your medieval dinner party, or... well you can decide. You can pledge $12 and get one, or $40 and get 5, and there are dozens of them to choose from! Check out the campaign right here!

Click-Clack Lumberjack - Mayday Games

ClickclackAlso known as Toc Toc Woodman 2.0. Click-Clack Lumberjack is a dexterity game that puts a dangerous weapon in your children's hands. Ok, it's a plastic axe, but to my children I'm sure it would be a ninja ax, or a bat-ax or something to wield in a quest to eradicate evil... Anyway, there's this plastic tree and you're trying to knock the bark off of it without knocking the wood off of it. Bark scores points, wood scores negative points. An interesting pledge level of $17 gets you the game shipped in a flat rate box and the game box is collapsed to make everything fit. If you want it uncollapsed you can pay an extra $5 and get it shipped that way. Check out the full campaign here!

dungeon attackDungeon Attack! - Attack Dice Games

Attack Dice, creators of the dice roller When Zombies Attack! are back at it with a dungeon themed dice-apalooza! Dungeon Attack! Looks like a game that takes a straight-forward dice roller and adds some depth and tweaks the scoring mechanism a little. I (Jeremiah) loved When Zombies Attack—it's a filler that comes out quite frequently with my group and is way better than Steve Jackson's Zombie Dice (which is basically a zombie-themed Farkle). This campaign is already funded and there are some sweet stretch goals in the future for backers! $20 gets you in on a copy of the game for this one and it looks well worth it if you're into rolling dice! Check out the full campaign here!

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