Books and Board Games!

Our first event at Barnes & Noble was a roaring success! Thank you to everyone who came out and if you missed it, have no fear we will be back next Thursday!

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Memoir 44 was a crowd favorite!

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Emily walks guests through Ticket to Ride

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Josh guides some players through the jungle of Karuba

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The event had a total of 46 players and once the store closed, we turned away car loads of people! 

Game Insider: CIA Collection Deck

When we think of the Central Intelligence Agency, we think of spies, high speed pursuits and amazing gadgets being cooked up inside an underground lab by a guy named Q, but what if I told you the elite agents are actually trained with card games? We sat down with Randy Lubin, who is working to release the CIA’s game, Collection Deck, this year!

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1.) What is your game?

CIA: Collect It All is a competitive card game based on the real life CIA training game Collection Deck. Players take on the role of agents who are collecting intelligence and tackling security threats over multiple rounds. On their turn, a player can assemble a set of tactics and try to defuse a crisis but their opponents can try to stop them by introducing Reality Check cards that complicate the situation. We just wrapped up a Kickstarter that raised $150,000.

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Example cards from the Kickstarter

2.) How did you first hear about the game to be able to submit an FOI request?

We originally heard about the CIA using board games when they spoke at SXSW last year and were fascinated by it. That led to Douglas Palmer and Mitchell Kotler (not affiliated with us) filing Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests that were fulfilled earlier this year. The CIA released heavily redacted copies in March and that’s when we started talking about running a Kickstarter to bring them to the public. We decided to start with Collection Deck, which was originally designed by CIA employee David Clopper (also not affiliated with our project) because it looked fun and interesting and we thought it would appeal to a large group of gamers.

3.) Have you changed any mechanics or cards from the original?

When the CIA released the cards, they were heavily redacted. We’re updating the text on 50 cards to replace the censored content and to modernize some of the crises. We’re also redesigning the visuals on the cards both to make them more usable in play and to make them more aesthetically interesting.

Regarding mechanics, the original game contained “Manager Challenge” cards that forced players to justify why their strategy might work in the real world. We think this is too difficult for players who aren’t in the intelligence community so we’re removing it from the standard rules. We’re also making a few clarifications to the rules where we though the original was ambiguous.

We’re also adding a storytelling variant where players will use the same cards to weave narratives around the crises and tactics as they race to avert disaster.

4.) Do you have a favorite card?

I like the “Red Tape” reality check card – it let’s you counter another player’s technique and the flavor text is “No, bureaucracy isn’t always your friend.”

5.) Where can people keep up with the game and get a copy?

The Kickstarter has wrapped up but we’re still the site to post updates on our progress. If you missed the Kickstarter, you can pre-order a copy which we’ll ship at the same time we’re fulfilling the Kickstarter: November 2018.

6.)  Will this be available for retail?

We’re not sure yet but we’re exploring our options.

7.) Anything else you want to add?

This game is a collaboration between Techdirt and Diegetic Games. Techdirt has spent over 20 years reporting on a variety of topics including the CIA and its intelligence gathering, as well as the whole FOIA process — not to mention the importance of the public domain to encourage creative reuse of content. Diegetic Games makes storytelling and card games; it is Randy Lubin’s design studio!

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Game Insider: Robot Royale

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Only competitors with nerves of steel can survive the labyrinth!

Ladies and Gentlemen welcome to the main event! Four competitors will enter the arena and only one will emerge victorious! 

What is cooler than your very own robot? Your very own fighting robot! We were fortunate enough to sit down with East Street Games, the team behind “Robot Royale“, a highly celebrated game currently on Kickstarter!

 

1. What is your game? 

Robot Royale” is a strategic arena combat board game. Players control robots hunting each other down in a labyrinth that they can alter the layout of during their turn by rotating tiles. Players score each time they are able to draw line of sight to an opponent.

2. What was the inspiration?

It started off as an abstract strategy game in a similar style to Tsuro, with an emphasis on player’s actions directly affecting each other’s turns. Once play testing began with groups such as Play Test UK and once the theme had been decided the other game play elements developed naturally and brought more depth to the game.

3. What are some unique features/mechanics your game features?

Each time a player leaves a tile that tile becomes unavailable for all players to end their turn on. As the game progresses this limits the available movement options and increases the pace of the game, forcing players together into an epic final showdown.

4. What is your favorite part of the game?

The ever-changing nature of the board is my favourite aspect, not only does it offer a unique tactical challenge but it also allows infinite replayability as each game is different due to the choices each player makes during the game.

5. Will it be Kickstarted? If so when?

The Kickstarter project went live on Tuesday 5th June and received £2,000 funding of our £5,000 target in 48 hours. You can find out everything about the game and back it here.

6. Where can we keep up with the game?

We post regular updates on “Robot Royale” and any shows we’re attending on both Facebook and Twitter.

 

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That is only $33.43 for Americans!

Thank you to East Street Games for their time and for creating such a thrilling game. Tupelo Game Days fans will also be excited to hear, we are being sent a demo copy that will be in our library and available for private game night!