Kickstarter Tabletop Roundup: Take Two

Kickstarter Tabletop Games

I did warn you about April—I could just about give you a “Kickstarter a Day” calendar. Fellow GeekDad Dave Banks expressed some concern about the number of “Jonathan Liu just backed a Tabletop Games Project” emails he’s been getting about Kickstarter, but unfortunately Quitstarter isn’t a reality yet. Here are a few projects that are sequels—follow-ups to existing things that I like.



Catacombs was my pick for Game of the Year in 2011: it combines dexterity (flicking wooden disks) with a dungeon crawl, and it’s flickin’ awesome. The expansions Caverns of Soloth and Hordes of Vermin, which I reviewed the following year, added more monsters, more bosses, and more heroes. But as much as I liked playing the game, I was never really fond of the artwork.

Catacombs fire demon card
Comparison of the old style and the new style.

Well, now Elzra Games (formerly Sands of Time Games) is fixing my only complaint: they’re republishing Catacombs, but with brand new artwork by Kwanchai Moriya. The new illustrations are kind of cute, so if you don’t go for that sort of thing you may not like it, but I love the style. It’s a more finished look, and has the added bonus of making Catacombs more appealing to kids and casual gamers, whereas the original art seemed more geared toward hardcore RPG players.

Catacombs Heroes and Lords
New artwork for Catacombs by Kwanchai Moriya

The new artwork will be on the stickers for the disks, the cards, and the boards. The other significant upgrade is that the boards will be bigger than the original. They’ve made some slight changes, so that some of the abilities introduced in the Hordes of Vermin expansion are now available from the get-go (and Hordes will not be re-released in its current form). There are some new add-on expansions you can get through the campaign, like the Zombie Horde or the Chicks in a Catacomb—not a great title, but it adds four more female heroes to the mix.

I missed the launch of the campaign, but there’s still about a week left to go. If you’ve never played Catacombs, now’s your chance to get the shiny new version. If you have it already, you can opt for the $20 “Original Owners Add-On” that just gives you the wooden pieces with stickers, but no new boards and cards. Click here for the Kickstarter page.

Coup: Reformation

Coup Reformation

A few years back there was a hidden-role game called The Resistance that took the feel of games like Werewolf but did away with player elimination. It was set in a dystopian future, with the Resistance trying to overthrow a corrupt government … and spies trying to sabotage the revolutionaries. Then came Coup, a game set in the same universe, but now you’re a powerful government official trying to gain power. Now, there’s Coup: Reformation. This introduces factions and a new level of intrigue. As with Coup, Indie Boards & Cards has a special Kickstarter edition that will have loads of extras that won’t be included in the retail version. The original is a fun game that can accommodate a lot of players, so if you like bluffing and bribery it’s worth checking out—and if you don’t own the original, you can pick up a copy with this Kickstarter as well.

Storyteller Cards: Fantasy

Last summer I wrote about Jason Tagmire’s Storyteller Cards, a deck of cards with various story prompts: each one has a character with an item performing an action in a location, as well as other features like a standard poker deck, letters, moods, and seasons. There was a separate manual that included some games specifically designed for the deck, but ultimately it’s a tool that can be used in many different ways.

Now Tagmire is back, with Storyteller Cards: Fantasy. This time, each card has a character, a weapon, an item, a class, and a location. It’s still a standard poker deck, but now there are also icons for a 20-sided die, a coin flip, and combat resolution. The artwork by Cambell Whyte is a lot of fun, and I’m excited to see what he does with the theme. It’s only $10 for a deck, with various other pledge levels to get a print version of the new manual, original artwork, or even get a card based on your image.

TableTop Season 3

And just in case you missed the announcement on Saturday because you were too busy playing games for International TableTop Day, Wil Wheaton wants your money. TableTop Season 3 is going to be a crowdfunded venture via this Indiegogo campaign. Rewards range from access to production video diaries to DVDs of the previous seasons to visiting the set of TableTop and hanging out with the cast and crew. Considering they just launched Saturday and they’re already over 80% of the $500,000 goal (as of this writing), I don’t think they’ll have any trouble getting funded, which is great news for all the fans of the show.

Stay tuned! I’m sure I’ll be back soon with more…

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