First up we take control of governing families to dominate the political landscape in Koryo
Next our  galactic crew is our family as we scramble to survive and oh yeah kill the other guys in Space Cadets: Dice Duel
And lastly we scheme to put our family in charge of our Italian city state in Coup

Guest Panelist Doug Levandowski is a designer from New Jersey. His games include Kids on Bikes, Aunt Agatha’s Attic, and the forthcoming Kids on Brooms. He’s on Facebook as himself and on Twitter as @levzilla

Koryŏ

Designed by: Gary Kim
Published by: Moonster Games (2013)
Players: 2 – 4
Ages: 13 & up
Playing time: 10 – 20 min

In Koryŏ, players vie for influence in an uchronian and politico-steampunk universe.

Each turn, players simultaneously choose a family of politicians from their hand, and play as many cards of this family as they have and wish to. Each family has a value ranging from 1 to 9, which indicates both the number of cards in the family and the number of victory points the player controlling this family will score at the end of the game.

A game lasts exactly eight turns, and on each turn a family grants its specific power to the player controlling it. Thus, efficient handling of these powers is the key to success! While their influence increases turn by turn due to the number of authorized cards in their council, the number of cards drawn each turn dwindles, making choices all the more difficult.

At the end of the game, the player having gained the greatest influence wins the game.

Space Cadets: Dice Duel

Designed by: Geoff Engelstein, Sydney Engelstein
Published by: Stronghold Games (2013)
Players: 4 – 8
Ages: 12 & up
Playing time: 30 min

In Space Cadets: Dice Duel – the “Team vs. Team, Real-time, Dice-Rolling Game of Starship Combat!” – two spaceships face off against one another in quick-paced combat. The players are divided into two teams, each team playing the crew of a ship and winning or losing together based on how well they perform. 

Each ship has six Bridge Stations:

  • Engineering generates power for the other stations.
  • Helm maneuvers the ship on the map.
  • Weapons load the torpedo tubes to attack the enemy.
  • Sensors lock onto the enemy so torpedoes can hit, and use jammers to stop the enemy from locking on.
  • Shields helps protect the ship from enemy torpedoes.
  • Tractor Beams can grab the powerful crystals, move the enemy ship on the map, and launch Mines.

Players are in charge of one or more of these stations, or have the overall role of Captain to coordinate everything. There are no game turns in Space Cadets: Dice Duel; instead the game continues with players acting as quickly as possible until one side wins.

The game ends when one side destroys their opponent by causing four points of damage through torpedoes or mines.

Coup

Designed by: Rikki Tahta
Published by: Indie Boards & Cards (2012)
Players: 2 – 6
Ages: 13 & up
Playing time: 15 min

In Coup, you want to be the last player with influence in the game

Each player starts the game with two coins and two influences, which are represented by face-down character cards in your playing area.

The fifteen card deck consists of three copies of five different characters, each with a unique power such as stealing coins or assassinating another character etc.: Duke, Assassin, Contessa, Captain, & Ambassador.

On your turn, you can use any of the unique powers, regardless of which characters you actually have, or you can take a default action:

  • Income
  • Foreign Aid
  • or Coup

When you take one of the character actions that character’s action automatically succeeds unless an opponent challenges you. If you do have the character in question and choose to reveal it, the opponent loses a character, then you shuffle that character into the deck and draw a new one. If you can’t reveal the appropriate character, you lose one of your characters. If you lose both of your characters, you’re out of the game.

The last player to still have a face-down character – wins the game!

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