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Kicstart Monday: The Last Lighthouse and The Big Crunch

Welcome to Kickstart Monday and to a new year! This is our weekly series featuring 2 or more crowdfunding projects that have caught our eye. We scour over platforms like Kickstarter, Gamefound, and Indigogo to find projects that interest us.

There are certainly some exciting projects out in crowdfunding land. Let’s take a look at a couple of games that we think you should check out.

The Last Lighthouse

Our first game this week, and our first game of 2024, is The Last Lighthouse on Kickstarter.

The Last Lighthouse comes from designer Scott Almes (from the Tiny Epic games series) and is a solo wallet game in the “Simply Solo” line of games which focus on simple rules and replay-ability. In The Last Lighthouse you must defend a lone lighthouse against the darkness as  a series of nightmares threaten to overwhelm you and extinguish the lighthouse forever.

Each turn of the game you can lay traps and attempt to defeat the nightmares that are attacking the lighthouse. If you have built up enough traps within reach of a nightmare you will be able to overcome its health to defeat it. Nightmares that you have defeated may then be used as Traps to be used against the remaining nightmares in later turns.

After the players actions a new nightmare is revealed the nightmares begin to attack the lighthouse if they can reach it otherwise they will attack your carefully laid traps. If darkness overcomes the lighthouse you lose but if you manage to survive all the nightmares with the lighthouse still intact you are victorious!

The Last Lighthouse is a pocket sized or “wallet game” and is therefore extremely portable, great for a quick game on the go or say while waiting for friends at a bar. It has a price tag to match its small size; the base level pledge is only $12 USD. The campaign is also offering all of the Simply Solo wallet games for $60 USD which includes the games Food Chain Island, Ugly Gryphon Inn, Insurmountable, Fishing Lessons and The Royal Limited. Backers can also add individual games of their choice as addons. If The Last Lighthouse feels like it would be a good fit for your wallet, consider backing on Kickstarter before January 13, 2024.

The Big Crunch

Our second game this week is The Big Crunch on Kickstarter from Alec-A-Sam Games.

The Big Crunch is a cosmic card game for 2 to 8 players where you are in a race to create the best  solar system from a variety of types of planets before they are sucked into the black hole at the center of the universe. Players build their solar system by playing planet cards with different values representing the planet’s mass. The mass of your planets acts as your point total but there is a careful balance to be had – if you build too massive of a system your planets will start falling into the blackhole. And you aren’t just building your solar system in a vacuum. Your opponents can opt to send planets into your system as well!

If the total mass for a given planet type exceeds 5 in a system all of those planets will fall toward the black hole in this way you can strategically attempt to overload your opponent’s system and send their planets hurtling into the void. The Big Crunch looks to be an interesting casual card game with some good player interaction and easy to learn rules.

The base game is available for approximately $19 USD and there are some deluxe pledge levels that include a large neoprene playmat but for the adventurous ultra-supporter there is a pledge level that is truly out of this world. For around $447 USD your copy of the game will be one of a few rare copies that are given gold foil accents and be sent in a weather balloon 17 miles above the earth’s surface literally into the stratosphere!

While obviously not a pledge level for everyone it’s one of the wildest and most unique backer rewards I’ve ever seen and I thought it deserved a mention. But whether your budget is more terrestrial or you can reach for the stars I’d recommend checking out the campaign for The Big Crunch before January 13, 2024 if you are, looking to make a pledge. 

Did we miss your favorite project?

Thank you for checking out this week’s Kickstart Monday! If you find these interesting or want some attention on a Kickstarter or other crowdfunded projects that you would like to read more about please share your thoughts with us via our social media or email.

Stay informed when new Kickstart Monday projects come out by following us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter and following the #KickstartMonday hashtag.

Also checkout the latest articles from WiscoDice:

Conesy’s Stunning Tabletop Gaming Statistics for 2023

It’s been another year of playing games and logging all of those plays. I am still amazed at the types of insights that can be derived from these logged stats. Often, I find myself surprised when looking at the stats. Games that, as a reviewer, I may not have thought were that great may show up with a lot of plays. Meanwhile, games I thought were brilliant may only receive a single play. Logging gameplay is not something everyone should or would want to do, but I share some of the insights derived as I wrap up 2023.

Traditionally, I log all of my stats on BoardGameGeek’s website using the native BGG tools. Moving forward in 2024, I will be using a new App, BGG Catalog, which Suzanne has used for quite some time. There are versions of the App for both Android and iPhone users so give it a try if you are interested in logging your games.

Some interesting statistics jump out immediately:

  • I played over 480 games
  • I played over 138 unique games.
  • May was my best gaming month, with 60 games played.
  • My collection grew by approximately 66 games, toping now at 731 titles, including expansions.
  • Less than half of my plays were via online platforms

Most Played Game – Ark Nova

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Ark Nova

It’s no surprise to me that Ark Nova from Capstone Games/Feuerland Spiele was played the most. Not only was it my 2022 game of the year, but it also was implemented on Board Game Arena, where I was able to play it 57 times. While I had 5 in-person plays of Ark Nova, it didn’t get to the table as much as I would have liked. It’s a little tricky to fit in a weekly game night, especially if we need to teach it which has made it a bit harder to table.

I enjoyed this game so much that I immediately wrote a review of Ark Nova for this blog. I am still very high on this game, though my online play has slowed. With the release of the Marine Worlds expansion, which I also think is brilliant for the game, I am hoping to have this game hit the table a few more times in 2024.

Kickstart Monday: Fief England and Votes for Women

Welcome to Kickstart Monday! This is our weekly series featuring 2 or more crowdfunding projects that have caught our eye. We scour over platforms like Kickstarter, Gamefound, and Indigogo to find projects that interest us.

There are certainly some exciting projects out in crowdfunding land. Let’s take a look at a couple of games that we think you should check out.

Fief England

Our first game of the week is Fief England from Academy Games on Gamefound.

Fief England is a strategy game for 2 to 4 players set in medieval England. Players will lead a noble family in their pursuit of royal titles, wealth and influence. Players will manage the politics, economy and military of their noble family, contend with other lords and face outside threats like Viking invaders.

Players expand their economy by building mills in new lands which increase a player’s income. If you have expanded enough you may be able to claim a royal title which grants benefits like the ability to enact taxes, elect the next king or queen or gain victory points. The Church also plays a powerful role in this time period and your lords and ladies can become clergy members like bishops and abbesses who have access to the Church’s powerful sacred relics.

Event cards can sometimes provide benefits like boost to production but will also bring calamities down on the kingdom like the plague, famine and Viking invasions. Viking invaders can even capture your lords and ladies and  you will need to pay ransom to recover them! Players may also form alliances with each other through marriage between their lords and ladies. The fate of the two players is then tied to each other and they will win or lose the game together.

Devious players can still betray their allies though so be sure you can trust those you ally with. Conquering neighboring fiefdoms is an important way to expand your family’s power and you must gather armies of various units like archers, knights, and even siege engines to secure your own land while also seeking to expand. Your military is used in combat against both Viking invaders and the militaries of other players.

Fief England is available on Gamefound for $75 USD and if you make your pledge quickly you may be able to take advantage of their early bird special and get a free historical metal coin set along with your pledge. For those with kingly purses there is also an all in pledge for $170 USD which includes a giant map, an expansion, the metal coins and a set of 3D miniatures buildings. The campaign for Fief England ends on January 2, 2024, so you’ll need to pledge your loyalty before then.

Votes for Women

Our second game this week is Votes for Women from Fort Circle Games on Kickstarter. The campaign is for the game’s second printing.

Votes for Women is a historical strategy game setting during the women’s suffrage movement in the United States. 1 to 4 players can play the game either competitively or cooperatively (with a solitaire mode for a single player).

In the two player competitive scenario one player will take on the role of the suffragist while the other player plays as the opposition against suffrage. The suffragist’s first goal is to gain enough support in the congress to bring the 19th amendment to the states for ratification. To do this they will need to make use of their deck of action cards and the lobby action to move a total of six congress markers to the congress track representing the amendment advancing towards a vote. The opposition player will be looking to delay or prevent the vote entirely.

Players will also be taking actions to campaign across the united states moving their campaigners into different regions of the country and gathering support by campaigning in individual states. Support for or against suffrage can shift from side to side in a state as players spend resources and take actions to advance their cause. Once the 19th amendment has passed congress states will be able to ratify it or reject it based on the campaigning efforts of either side.

Victory for the suffragists is not an easy task though as they need 36 states to vote in favor of the amendment while the opposition only needs 13 total states to reject the law to win. Once the amendment has been proposed by congress each side will be in a race to win as many states as possible before the sixth turn of the game. Votes for Women’s design looks excellent and very interestingly  features actual historical portraits, photos, documents and artwork from the period.

Many of these are realistically replicated versions of the original documents allowing players to immerse themselves in the time period and theme while providing an educational opportunity as well. The second printing of Votes for women is available for $75 USD and backers should be looking to receive their copies around spring of 2024. The Kickstarter campaign for Votes for Women will conclude on January 25, 2024, so if you missed out on the first printing now is the time to pledge!

Did we miss your favorite project?

Thank you for checking out this week’s Kickstart Monday! If you find these interesting or want some attention on a Kickstarter or other crowdfunded projects that you would like to read more about please share your thoughts with us via our social media or email.

Stay informed when new Kickstart Monday projects come out by following us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter and following the #KickstartMonday hashtag.

Also checkout the latest articles from WiscoDice:

Episode 117: Tabletop Gaming in Review and Recap – 2023

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Episode 117 Show Notes

Join Ben, Justin, Matt and Suzanne as they review their 2023 gaming and discuss what they look forward to in 2024. We go through the best new game we played, our favorite hobby projects, favorite gaming memory, and more.

Download the Episode Here!

Play Games with WiscoDice

BGG List of 2024 Games

Favorite Hobby Projects of 2023:

Download the Episode Here!

Beyond the Show:

Kickstart Monday: Undergrove and Nocturne

Welcome to Kickstart Monday! This is our weekly series featuring 2 or more crowdfunding projects that have caught our eye. We scour over platforms like Kickstarter, Gamefound, and Indigogo to find projects that interest us.

There are certainly some exciting projects out in crowdfunding land. Let’s take a look at a couple of games that we think you should check out.

Undergrove

Our first game this week is Undergrove from Alderc Entertainment Group on Kickstarter.

Undergrove is a game for 1 to 4 players from designers Elizabeth Hargrave and Mark Wooton and is based on the real life symbiotic relationships between trees and fungi. In the game the players will take on the role of a tree that’s right a tree – to be specific a Douglas Fir tree in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. Players compete to establish seedlings throughout the forest and develop the best symbiotic relationships with the mushrooms in the forest.

Players will spread their seedlings through the forest looking to be adjacent to mushrooms and fungi with beneficial abilities and to potentially gain points for relationships for those mushrooms. To use a mushroom’s ability with the Activate action you will first need to grow roots from your seedlings on to the adjacent mushroom with the Reproduce or Partner action. In the same way you must have grown a root token on a mushroom to gain points for it at the end of the game. Mushroom activation abilities can provide needed resources to take your main actions or refresh your ability to activate mushrooms or provide other benefits. You also have the option to add new mushrooms to the forest expanding the different ability options and scoring opportunities. The Absorb action will importantly allow you to absorb carbon from nearby mushrooms into your seedlings which lets you score mushrooms you have roots on and potentially grow into trees which score even more.

Through the game players will have to carefully select where to spread their seedlings to maximize their scoring potential and strategically choose which seedlings to grow into trees. Undergrove features beautiful illustrations by artist Beth Sobel of a variety of real life mushroom and fungi species. The game will be available as a standard edition for a very reasonable $39 USD. The deluxe mycologist edition features upgraded wooden components and the whispering woods micro expansion all for $69 USD. The campaign for Undergrove ends in just a few short days on December 8, 2023, so be quick to get your pledge in!

Nocturne

Next up this week is Nocturne from Flatout Games on Kickstarter.

Nocturne is a light strategy game for 1 to 4 players from the makers of Calico and Cascadia and also features art by the excellent Beth Sobel. Nocturne takes place in a magical moonlit forest where the players as powerful fox mystics will cast spells to gather magical items and ingredients for brewing potions. The forest takes the shape of a grid of tiles that represent the items and potion components that players will be competing for.

Players capture tiles with a spatial bidding mechanism; they must cast one of their spell tokens numbered 1 through 7 and cast a more powerful spell than the previous player on an adjacent tile. Players continue to bid with their spells until all players have passed, the winner then claims the item tile for their collection. Items tiles like Firebird Feathers, Creature Skulls and Mysterious eggs each have their own scoring rule when collected in sets but can also be combined in a recipe to craft a concoction as an alternative way of earning points. Winning a tile also grants the player a chance to draft special item tiles that have their own unique scoring methods.

Players will use the unique power of their individual fox mystic to compete over the two Twilight and Moonlight rounds to collect the greatest set of magical items and concoctions as well as attempt to achieve the Twilight and Moonlight public goals to ultimately become the winner.

Nocturne looks beautiful and seems easy to teach while also providing an interesting puzzle to the player. As a bonus for those with kids the game also features a family variant which simplifies and streamlines some of the rules to make it suitable for younger players.

The Nocturne Kickstarter edition is available for just $29 USD which includes all unlocked stretch goals as well as an exclusive Kickstarter promo pack with new character cards, concoctions and goal cards. There are just a few days until the campaign ends on December 8, 2023, so find your way through the forest quickly to the Nocturne Kickstarter page quickly if you are looking to pledge.

Did we miss your favorite project?

Thank you for checking out this week’s Kickstart Monday! If you find these interesting or want some attention on a Kickstarter or other crowdfunded projects that you would like to read more about please share your thoughts with us via our social media or email.

Stay informed when new Kickstart Monday projects come out by following us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter and following the #KickstartMonday hashtag.

Also checkout the latest articles from WiscoDice:

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