Gen Con 2023 – IV Studio

IV Studio had two main games on exhibit this year. Fractured Sky was flashing lots of plastic bits in this area-control/worker placement game while both Volume 1 and the upcoming Volume 2 of the 1v1 Mythic Mischief game were being played.

Mythic Mischief

Mythic Mischief is a 1v1 game of maneuvering one’s troops around a small gridded board trying to score points, primarily by eliminating the other player’s pieces. In Volume 1, players take on the roles of students hiding in the square-grid library while trying to avoid the Tomekeeper.

Each player is given 3 characters for the board and have several actions available on their turn. Once a player moves, the Tomekeeper takes its move. There are several player options available. Players can simply move their pieces, mess with the other player’s pieces, influence the Tomekeeper to head a new direction, or place or move walls around the board that block movement.

Those are roughly the options available because there are four teams to choose from when playing the game. While some base options are the same, each team also has unique options. There are also unique special abilities, many can be triggered using “books” which can be claimed from the play area.

These options are not static but are tracked by dice on a race card. The dice fill in slots on the card and your options are determined by where your dice are located. The aforementioned books can even be plugged into the card to “fill” a spot, moving the player’s dice further to the right (providing a stronger power.) The dice in the card slots are slowly “turned down” when used as the round progresses. After round 1 and “lunch” things somewhat reset and play continues until someone scores 10 points or round 2 ends.

As mentioned, there are four different teams with unique powers in Volume 1: Vampires, Monsters, Zombies, and Wizards. There is an upcoming Volume 2 (I think on KS starting September 12th if my scrawled notes are correct) which has a fairy/garden theme with players trying to avoid the Gardenkeeper (ooh, so different!) It features four new teams that are a bit more complex to play than the original four. There will be Gnomes, Gargoyles, Werewolves, and Fairies. My understanding is that any of the 8 teams can be played on either of the two maps.

Fractured Sky

Fractured Sky is a 1-5 player game that combines player bidding with area control and building construction in a race to claim Starfalls through various means over the course of 5 rounds. In true Kickstarter faction, the game comes in regular, deluxe, AND super-deluxe versions. I believe my photos are of the super-deluxe version with the “regular” one primarily having less plastic and more cardboard. The KS campaign was last spring with a plan to deliver in early 2024.

To start a turn, players secretly choose three face-down bidding tokens they want to use and combine them with their ships in order to go out and claim locations on the board. Locations might grant resources or other things. The strongest player at a location will get the best reward. This would be a Starfall, if one is available at that location, otherwise two resources, with one resource awarded the next lowest place.

These resources can be spent to build things on the board like a market that grants bonus rewards (if a player is at that location), a fortress that increases one’s strength at that location, shrines that give a temporary boost for the round, or use resources to buy cards in the game’s market. These give players more interesting effects.

The end-of-round resolution is somewhat interesting. There is a stack of cards that determine what resources become available at each location, including where a “Starfall” will appear. Players will often have the ability to peek at a card and learn where a Starfall will NOT appear. In the early game, it isn’t such a big deal but every round there are more and more Starfalls that appear so knowing the non-Starfall locations is more useful.

I’m sure there are nuances I’m missing (such as bidding with up to 3 of your tokens, with a maximum combined value of 10 in order to “win” combat in an area) but hopefully you get the gist of it. All the plastic you see on a player’s tray has to do with improving one’s ships and building more buildings onto the board, with the three tracks on the left used to track resources. Gameplay goes for 5 complete rounds and then a winner is determined.

About Matt J Carlson

Dad, Gamer, Science Teacher, Youth Pastor... oh and I have green hair. To see me "in action" check out Dr. Carlson's Science Theater up on Youtube...
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