Friday, October 20, 2017

Kickstarter Recap - October 20, 2017


Fightlings: The Card Game
From: Thoughtfish
Ends: November 15, 2017
Goal: $11,799
Fightlings: The Card Game is a pair-matching game with turn-based combat. These two classic table game formulas are combined into a new gameplay style that rewards memory, strategy, and careful planning.
The box includes 136 cards divided into two factions:
Vitality (green; defense and attrition)
Solidity (orange; strength and sacrifice)
At the start of the game, players build decks of 17 cards each and place them in a 5x7 formation along with a single wild card. They then take turns performing combat actions and matching pairs to unlock new creatures and skills, in an attempt to reach one of several victory conditions.

Fightlings: The Card Game is on KICKSTARTER between now and November 15, 2017.


Mortals: Descent of the Gods
From: Partial Arc
Ends: November 21, 2017
Goal: $35,000

Mortals: Descent of the Gods is a cooperative battle-arena board game set in a museum in modern times. You and your friends play as Greek, Norse, and Egyptian gods that have been made Mortal by Death himself. Now, with the world coming to an end, you and your fellow once-gods are being called out of ambiguity to fight Death and unlock his secrets within the walls of this museum. Can you halt the engine of Earth's destruction? 

Mortals: Decent of the Gods is on KICKSTARTER between now and November 21, 2017.

Dane Trimble
Dave Merrell
Brody Sheard
Benjamin Kocher
Stephen Gulik
Alexa Chaplin
Nick Shipley
Nicholas Leeman
Delton Perez

See all our Featured games and those coming up HERE!

Dragoonium Review

Quick Look:

Designer: Naomi Bielefeldt-Schenk, Jacob Schenk
Artist: Naomi Bielefeldt-Schenk, Sam Berthiaume, Emma Staudenmaier 
Publisher: Thorny Wench Game Studio
Year Published: 2017
No. of Players: 2-3
Ages: 12+
Playing Time: 30 min

WARNING: This is a preview of Dragoonium. All components and rules are prototype and subject to change.


Rules and Setup:
Setup begins with each player choosing a dragon (colored deck), and counting out the cards numbered 2-15 from it. Each players 2-15 cards, along with some sets of neutral cards (2 sets for 2-4 players 1 for 5-7) are shuffled to create the center deck. Each player keeps their champion and quick reference card for use during the game. Once the center deck has been shuffled and the top card has been flipped to start the abandoned realm (discard pile), each player is dealt seven cards as a starting hand and turns begin with the player to the left of the dealer.

Basic rules are simple: at the beginning of each players turn they must either pick up cards from the abandoned realm, or draw from the the top of the deck. Next, the player should play any sets of cards in their hand into their score pile (in front of them). Finally, the player must discard a card to the abandoned realm to end their turn.

Each game is made up of rounds, which end once the draw pile runs out or any player has no cards left in their hand. To score each round, players calculate the amount of gold (listed on the cards) they have in their score pile and subtract any gold on cards left in their hands. Together these create the player's score for the round. Another round will begin and the pattern will continue until a pre-determined amount of gold is reached (this varies by the number of players).

Theme and Mechanics:
Thematically dragons are very present on the neutral decks and in the title of the game however they are absent in the colored decks. No cards have flavor text, so while the rules allude to some sort of mystical battle being fought the player doesn't experience this in game play.

Mechanics of the game are simple and straightforward set matching.

Game Play:
Game play varies wildly in Dragoonium. There are many elements that make each game (even games played with the same decks) completely different. The element of shuffling and drawing can cause one player to start with more unique dragon cards and another to start with more commons, or one to start with many cards to create matches and the other to have none. This element of luck-of-the-draw is present in all card games, but can be a frustration to players.

Playing times also vary drastically depending on how the deck draws out. One player may rid their hand of all cards and win after only four turns if they drew excellent hands. This can negate the strategy players come up with to best utilize their dragon's special skills. It also led to games in my own play test group where one player would have piles of matches while the rest only ever got to draw and discard.

When the game play is at its best Dragoonium plays similarly to Seven & Seven, with players attempting to create sets and their opponents attempting to win faster or sabotage them. When the game play is at its weakest, players are faced with a mundane draw and discard game. Some revision to the rules to create a more stable play experience would greatly benefit this game.

The game contains 195 cards broken up into nine unique dragon (colored) decks, and three neutral (silver) decks.

The Good:
Many different types of decks are provided, and there are varying levels of difficulty that can be chosen by the players. This allows a group of more advanced players to have more complex game play than a group who is sitting down to learn for the first time.

The Bad:
While the game is listed as supporting 2-9 players, game play does not support that number. Each difficulty level has three different decks, so having nine players would put the six who don't have the top tier extra abilities at an incredible disadvantage. No one likes an unequal playing field, so the number of players should be listed as 2-3. Also, the varying difficulty levels aren't well defined in the rule book. At the very back there is a chart listing the difficulty level of each color, but it is easy to miss or overlook especially during a first play-through.

Final Thoughts:
This game shows potential to be a unique take on set collection, however issues with unequal deck power and lack of clarity in the directions and focus in objective currently cause issues in game play.

Players Who Like:
Fans of other set matching games like 7 & 7, and classics like go-fish will appreciate Dragoonium's star mechanic.

I am giving Dragoonium 6 out of 10 super meeples.

6  10

Check out Dragoonium on:


About the Author:

Sarah Johnson is a freelance writer and board game enthusiast. When she’s not playing games or writing reviews, she enjoys writing articles for food and wine magazines. Sarah lives in rainy Corvallis, Oregon where she studies writing, English, and communications.

New Game Deals - October 20, 2017

Backyard Builders Treehouse - 70% off -
Destination X - 50% off -
Zombies!!! Ultimate Collector's Box - 38% off -
Boss Monster Bundle 2 - 29% off -
XenoShyft Onslaught & Dreadmire Bundle - $86.99 -
One Night Revolution - 43% off -
Tip Tap - $5.50 -
Garden Dice: The Card Expansion - 33% off -
Dead Man's Treasure - 42% off -
Rory's Story Cubes Actions - 33% off -
The Manhattan Project - 35% off -

Special EBG Community Discounts!
PeltaPeeps - 30% off - Use "EBGPROMO" at check out (through Nov 1st) -

Warning: All Amazon, Funagain Games, and Massdrop links are affiliate links which means I earn a small commission off each sale (but it doesn't cost you any extra).


New Game Giveaways - October 20, 2017

USAopoly Game of Thrones Clue, Playing Cards and Puzzle Giveaway! Ends October 20, 2017

My Geeklings Dicey Peaks Giveaway! Ends October 26, 2017 Oregon Trail Giveaway! Ends October 31, 2017

The Secret Cabal Mansions of Madness 2nd Ed. and Daedalus Insert Giveaway! Ends October 31, 2017

Everything Board Games KingDomino and QueenDomino Giveaway! Ends November 1, 2017

Libellud Dixit 8: Harmonies Giveaway! Ends November 2, 2017

Everything Board Games 7th Continent Rookie + "Full Gameplay Bundle" Giveaway! Ends November 9, 2017

See all the Giveaways we have found HERE!

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Hotshots Review

Quick Look:

Designer: Justin De Witt
Artist: Víctor Pérez Corbella
Publisher: Fireside Games
Year Published: 2017
No. of Players: 1-4
Ages: 10+
Playing Time: 60 minutes
Find more info on
Deep inside the boundaries of Yosemite National Park you and your crew of Hotshots work day and night to contain a fire that has already consumed over 50,000 acres of pristine forest land. The forecast for the coming days is hot, dry and windy, not what you wanted to hear. But you will continue to work your body ragged because this is what you signed up for, trained for and live for. You are a Hotshot!

In Hotshots players will work together to stop a wild-land fire from spreading and scorching too much for the forest that is now ablaze. You will use your special abilities as a crew boss, spotter, swamper, and sawyer along with powerful equipment like Air Tankers, Helicopters, and Brush Rigs to quickly contain and extinguish the fire saving this beautiful land and nearby structures.


To setup Hotshots players will randomly draw from face-down terrain tiles to create a 5x5 circular grid in the center of play. Tiles making up the board should all be face up and orientated the same (IE text facing the same direction). Players will then place the fire break tokens near the completed board along with the reward tokens which are placed face down. The vehicle tokens are placed on the Air Attack Base, and the Wind Flag is placed on the Fire Camp orientated to point to the top of the board. Next players will create the fire deck and place it near the board as well. Fire tokens are now placed out onto the board on specific tiles to create the starting fire conditions. And lastly players will choose a firefighter character and take the corresponding card and token placing the latter on the Fire Camp tile. Players are now ready to begin.

Four player set up.

Fire camp set up.

Air Attack Base set up

On a player's turn she will preform the following steps:
1) Move. Movement is pretty straight forward, each player can move two tiles in most cases. There is some terrain types that modify this as well as tiles with fire on them which a player may not pass through.

2) Fight fire. To fight a fire the current player rolls all six firefighting dice trying to match the symbols at the bottom of the tile they currently occupy. For example a tile may contain the following symbols; two firefighters, two chain saws, and two axes. The player must roll at least one matching symbol (to the tile they are on) each time they roll the dice or risk busting and causing a blow up (adding fire to the current tile). For example (using the above required symbols) our player rolls two axes, a rake, a shovel, and two chainsaws. The player sets aside the two axes and the two chainsaws (because those match what is required). The player must now decide if she will roll again to match more symbols or walk away. If she rolls again and does not get at least one fireman she will bust. If she walks away she has four matching symbols and can remove one fire token from the current tile she is on. If she continued to roll and got five matches she could remove two flame tokens then take a fire break OR a reward token. Six matches allows the player to remove three flame tokens then take a fire break AND reward token. Also three matches allows a player to place down a firebreak on the tile they currently occupy adjacent to another.

3) Draw fire card. The current player will now draw the top fire card from the deck and follow the directions. The different things that can happen include; increase fire, change of wind direction, wind blowing, strong gust, ember cards, and combinations of these. If a fire increases, due to the play of the fire card, past it's fire limit the tile is flipped over and is considered "scorched"!

Once the player is done, play proceed to the next player. This continues until one of three things happens.
1) There are eight scorched tiles at which time the players have failed and must go back to firefighting school.
2) The Fire Camp tile gets scorched in which case the players also loose and go back to.
3) If the players successfully remove all flame tokens on the board (before eight tiles or the Fire Camp have been scorched) they win and have saved the park, hooray!!!

This was just a quick overview of play. There are many nuances not covered here like each character's special ability, the effects of scorching different tiles, reward tokens, and the vehicle token actions (which are so cool).

The rules include variable board layouts and different set up and win/loose options to change up game play making things easier or harder. I thought it would be fun to play a "fire season" playing through all the set ups to see how many parks I could save. There are also solo rules for all my lonely gamer buddies out there!

Things are starting to heat up.

Our first scorched tile.
3 more tiles quickly are engulfed and scorched.

Things aren't looking too good but we may be able to get this contained.

Crud a couple gust of wind and things are looking bleak.

Our Fire Camp has been consumed and we have lost this battle but will be back for more!


If you have read any of my reviews in the past you know I am a big fan of cooperative games. I think this is mostly due to the fact that I play with my younger kids a lot and they enjoy working as a team more than the head-to-head competition. We play a lot of Pandemic, Forbidden Desert, Flash Point Fire and Rescue, and Castle Panic to name a few.

So how does Hotshots stack up to these other cooperative games? Well, that is what we are here for isn't it?

One thing I love about most of the Fireside Games titles are their straight-forward nature. Everything in the rule books are spelled out clearly and the game play itself is simplified without a lot of extra stuff or holes. Hotshots is more of the same. The rule book is very easy to understand, follow along with, and reference if needed. Games are also quick and easy to get set up, so you are able to jump right in and start fighting some fires!!!

I love the wild-land firefighting theme of Hotshots as I have a really good friend that was a Hotshot for years and is still a firefighter to this day. So this theme hits close to home for me. The cooperative game play, push your luck dice rolling, variable player powers, and random AI of the fire cards really tie in the theme nicely. And as is the case with all really good cooperative games the tension in this one can get really high at times.

Another thing that ties the theme and mechanics in is the artwork. The tiles have fun isometric illustrations that create a fun landscape when they are all placed out on the table. The character cards and tokens are realistic and look good when out on the board. My favorite component of all is the fire tokens. These guys look amazing and terrifying when there are a lot of them burning up your park.

What's in the box.


Some of the tiles

Fire Cards

As I mentioned above the game play is super immersive with a lot of emotional swings. Just when you think you have everything under control a big gust of wind will come up and blow the fire over your fire break and into the contained area ruining your well played plans. However there are reward tokens and special vehicles that players have access to (just like real firefighters) on the Attack Base tile—Air Tanker, Helicopter, and Brush Rig—that can really change the tide of the game if used at the right time.

Typical of many co-op games there can be some alpha gamer issues where one player will takes control of the flow of the game. This can be mitigated by assuring that each player makes their own final decision. The flow of the game is quick so there is not much down time. Turns are short and everyone stays invested throughout the game.

The Good:
Hotshots has so many things going for it for me; the theme, cooperative play, tension building, press your luck dice rolling, good artwork, solid components, short playing time, and a ton of re-play-ability. The facts that my kids can play it with relatively little guidance is super cool, the fact that they enjoy it as much as me is even better.

One of the things that has impressed me most about Hotshots is the publisher, Fireside Games. They have been very aware and mindful of the situations happening around our country and have used the launch of this title as a platform to bring awareness and help to those who need it. Please check out their "Remember the Brave" post at

The Bad:
There are no expansions! Enough said.

Final Thoughts:
I absolutely love Hotshots and will be playing it until the components turn to dust. Then I will go buy another copy and play it into the ground as well. There is nothing better than getting together with a group of friends or family and being totally consumed by a game for 30 minutes then wanting to do it all over again.

Players Who Like:
Players who like cooperative games like Forbidden Island, Pandemic, Castle Panic will absolutely love Hotshots! Run out and get it now.

Check out Hotshots on:


Pick up Hotshots at your FLGS or online at AMAZON.

About the Author:

My name is Dane Trimble I am the Advertising Manager for a national magazine by day and a husband, father of four, and board gamer by night (and mornings). I have a passion for board games as I believe board games help bring families closer together while providing kids a unique way to learn many diverse skills. And they are down right fun!!!
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