Martyn Poole speaks with Final Frontier Games about Cavern Tavern and their brand-new Kickstarter project, Rise to Nobility.
Final Frontier Games is a board game publishing company based in Skopje, Macedonia. So far they have successfully published two board games in their country and one on the international market, Cavern Tavern.
I first noticed Cavern Tavern on Kickstarter just after it launched. It really interested me as the dice placement mechanic was similar to one of my favourite games, Lords of Vegas. I read about it but never backed due to having so many games already backed that month.
Off to the Tavern
A few months down the line I managed to get a copy which I will be reviewing soon, but to give you a quick overview of the game it’s basically a worker placement (using dice) game with added resource management. Each player assumes the role of a worker in the tavern. Your job is to serve drinks, work in the kitchen, do chores, and on top of that try to keep everyone happy.
The game is set in the Fictional world of The Five Realms. The art of the game is very thematic and the quality of the components are top notch.
Enter the Five Realms
With the setting of the game, the guys over at Final Frontier have really gone to town as they are trying to create a world that feels like its living and breathing. There are two books that help bridge the gap between the first game and their new offering, Rise to Nobility.
These will be offered out to backers as an add-on and I really like what they are doing here. It will feel like an RPG campaign split over different games where you will notice a theme running throughout. When I spoke to Toni about what they are trying to achieve what he said shows that they have a whole plan going forward but are focusing on one game at a time.
He explained: "Five winters have passed since the fragile peace treaty of Cavern Tavern has been brokered between The Five Realms. The newly built city of Caveborn, a magnificent monument of hope that sits at the banks of Dragon Run River, is the only thing that maintains the peace and binds the wounds of the decades-long war.
"Queen Tabitha has called her more trusted confidants to help her run the city, nobles from all of The Five Realms… But… a city is only as strong as the folks that live there and the nobility that runs it."
Rise to Nobility
Rise to Nobility is being sold as dice worker placement board game for 2-5 players, with strategic gameplay and unique mechanics, accompanied by great thematic engine building.
Each player has five dice that represent his available actions in the game, but the tricky and interesting mechanic is that each player’s reputation in the city dictates the value of the dice he can play.
You’ll start by owning a small piece of land in the newly built city of Caveborn, and your goal is to rise from anonymity, make your way to the title of Lord, and take over the head seat at the Stone Council by accumulating victory points. Many games promise strategic gameplay but fail to deliver so I questioned Toni on this.
He said: "There are many paths to achieve victory so you must carefully plan your strategy and prioritise your actions. You can choose to focus your resources on the city economy by employing Settlers, thus ensuring you have Apprentices, and Guild Masters whom you will gain benefits from, along with building Workshops in the various Guilds from which you will receive victory points and rewards.
"You can focus on increasing the population of Caveborn by housing as many Settlers as you can or will you be more selective with who you welcome on your land and spend your resources on upgrading your land by building community buildings and entertainment venues. All this will help you build your name among the nobles and move you up the ladder. This is the way you will become a Lord."
It sounds like Rise to Nobility takes the basic mechanics from their first game and throws in a whole new set to give players multiple paths to victory, this all set in the same vibrant world means that they could be on to a winner.
When this game launches on Kickstarter they will already have many returning followers from Cavern Tavern but it’s good to see the guys not take this for granted they have really done their homework, created a world for the future and made a game that has built on the success of Cavern Tavern. Adding a Solo play option and a sixth player are one of the many Kickstarter stretch goals that will be introduced during the campaign.
There will also be a Deluxe version that will be exclusive to campaign backers only, that will include an Elven-inspired custom-made dice! (if the dice for CT are anything to go by these will be a must).
The Kickstarter Campaign will feature the Standard version of the game at $49 and the Deluxe version at $59. Both pledge levels will come with free shipping to the USA and UK, and they will be available for retailers as well.
Look out for this game when it hits Kickstarter on the April 5.