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Rahdo Runs Through the Captain is Dead

May 29 2017

Rahdo, game player extraordinaire has done a multi-part play through of the Captain is Dead.

It’s in multiple parts:

Rahdo’s best quote: “This is going on our shelf, this is a keeper for us!”

Mystic Vale Nominated for ORIGINS Award

May 26 2017



SAN CLEMENTE, CA — 26 MAY 2017 Alderac Entertainment Group (AEG) is pleased to announce that its best-selling card crafting game Mystic Vale has been nominated for a 2017 ORIGINS Award for Best Traditional Card Game.

The ORIGINS Awards are presented annually by the Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts & Design, at a ceremony traditionally held during the ORIGINS Game Fair in Columbus, OH. This year’s ORIGINS will be held from June 14-18.

Mystic Vale is the first game to feature AEG’s card crafting system. Players in Mystic Vale take the role of druids working to heal a wilderness blighted by dark magic. Each turn the players acquire new Card Advancements from a shared pool, and add them to their existing deck, upgrading and changing their cards as they play. After a pre-determined number of victory points are scored, the player with the most total victory points from the shared pool, and from cards crafted in play is the winner. The game is designed by John D. Clair, and was released in 2016. Learn more at

AEG5861 Mystic Vale


A tabletop board game for 2-4 players. MSRP $44.99.

About Alderac Entertainment Group

Alderac Entertainment Group (“AEG”) has produced award-winning games and game worlds for over 20 years. Alderac publishes the popular games Smash Up, Love Letter, Mystic Vale, Istanbul, Automobiles, Valley of the Kings, Thunderstone Quest, and many more. Visit for more information.

The Captain is Dead Engineered Chaos by Scott J. Magner

May 12 2017

As chief engineer on a starship, the last thing you want to hear is that the captain is dead. It’s the worst kind of exciting day, and actually watching it happen just magnifies the problem.

Sure, it wasn’t our fault. But review boards always think equipment malfunctions are deliberate, and careers can (and do) end over something as ridiculous as ruined laundry.

But the captain was dead, and we had to find out why.

The how was easy enough. A tear in a supposedly indestructible transit tube caused a catastrophic loss of pressure. It’s just bad luck that it happened while the captain was coming back to the ship from a diplomatic mission, on a day when every airlock above our deck was malfunctioning.

Of course, ours worked just fine, the outer doors slamming shut right in the captain’s face to prevent the entire compartment from being sucked out into space along with him. They still haven’t found his body, but that’s the least of our problems right now.

At top of our list is that the first officer won’t let us examine either the airlock, or the transit tube itself.

I’ll say this about the first officer, his paranoia is on par with his attention to detail. Soldiers at his back, he marched in minutes after the accident, hustling us all away from our stations at gunpoint. Then, as per protocol, he’d had any potential witnesses taken off to holding cells, until only the two of us and his goon squad remained.

“Just what is it you’re trying to accomplish, sir?”

Engineering section isn’t all that spacious with just us in here, and a half-dozen extra bodies scattered amongst open panels, diagnostic equipment, and the aftermath of explosive decompression made for very close quarters. But now the soldiers were applying orange warning tabs to every panel they could, including the controls to the still-open airlock. The first officer himself was rooting through a maintenance locker, tossing out tools and binders into yet another pile.

“I’m not letting you idiots destroy evidence of your negligence!”

“Sir, we have to know what went wrong. Every system on the ship could be compromised right now, and the longer we wait to investigate, the worse the problem could get. As first officer, it’s your duty to…”

The first officer spun around, and the double handful of binders he was rifling through exploded across the compartment.

“I’m the Captain now, and don’t you forget it!”

I’ve never seen someone’s face turn exactly that shade of red before, and my eyes darted to the airlock’s pressure indicator just to make sure we weren’t having another problem. One of the binders landed at my feet, and I bent to pick it up before replying.

“Okay, Captain, but every minute, every second we wait could mean another malfunction. We still don’t know what happened to the other airlocks, and if something happens to this one, all your pretty warning signs won’t stop us from dying either.”

The acting captain’s eyes looked about ready to pop out of his head, and it took me a moment to realize he wasn’t staring at me, but at my hands.

Turning the binder over, I read the big blue letters on the cover: Maintenance Log.

On my ship, in my section, every part and wire is double-checked before installation, and documented with two signatures. I’m usually one of them, so I knew exactly what part of the log to open up for airlock maintenance.

“Hand that over right now, chief, if you know what’s good for you!”

And there it was.

The first officer’s signature, checking out a pressure suit and cutting torch late last night, and returning them just before the end of the shift.

“What’s good for me, Captain, is letting these fine men and women with guns know that you are to be relieved of duty, on suspicion of murder!”

The soldiers swiveled their attention between the two of us, not exactly sure what to do. Technically, the first officer and I held the same rank, but he was one step above me in the chain of command, and aboard a starship that’s the only thing that matters.

And he knew it.

“I think we’ve heard just about enough out of you, chief. So put down the log book, step away, and I promise this will go easy for you.”

The manic paranoia in his voice was gone, replaced by cold conviction of purpose. That, more than anything, convinced me he was the one. His motives didn’t matter, the deed was done, and I was clearly going to be the next one out the airlock.

“So, do you even have a plan? Or was killing the captain the extent of your ambition?”

With each word, I took a half-step away from the open airlock doors. The soldiers’ guns tracked me as I shuffled, and whether or not they were conscious of the fact, they moved away from the open doors as well.

Not so much the first officer, who stepped right in front of them. Maybe it was my smile, or the way I was looking at him, but removing whatever threat I or the logbook posed was the only thing on his mind.

So I threw it over his shoulder into the airlock, and he reflexively dove in after it.

At least six witnesses will attest to the fact that all I did was shut the door after him. It was his pounding and screaming that tripped the emergency release, but to his credit, he kept hold of the log book as he was blasted out into the void. Good thing, too. The transponders on those things last forever.

And then, for the second time in as many hours, I had to call it in.

“Bridge, this is engineering. So the Captain is dead, again….”

The Captain is Dead is an upcoming new release from AEG that features co-operative gameplay as players race against time to repair malfunctioning ship systems, deal with hostile aliens, and warp the ship out of danger. Releasing in 2017.

Scott J. Magner is rising star in the fiction world best known for his novel Homefront. He is a writer, editor, designer, developer, and worldbuilder. His work appears in books, tabletop and online role-playing games, card games, miniatures games, and board games. He has a passion for movies and classic science fiction, and spends his days tweaking and twisting new universes. He is known to be a member of the loyal order of the buffalo and a proud member of #leftshark.

The Captain is Dead Listen to Reason by Matt Forbeck

May 5 2017

Captain’s Log. Science Officer reporting.

The Captain is dead. It didn’t have to turn out that way, but that’s what happens when people refuse to pay attention to science.

By now we know that wearing a Crewman’s uniform on an away-team mission is tantamount to marching off toward your own execution. Statistical analysis has shown that those dressed in their standard red shirts are at a risk of death or dismemberment (or both) at least three hundred percent higher than those crewmembers in other uniforms.

The chance of an early and violent demise increases to over six hundred percent higher if a member of the bridge crew is on the away team. It skyrockets to a full one thousand percent higher if the Captain joins the team.

Meanwhile, senior crew members seem immune to these risks. In fact, the more Crewman that are with such a crew member, the less likely that crew member is to be hurt.

The Science and Engineering Departments have several conflicting theories about this, and we are still in the process of weeding through them all. I told the Captain more than once that only by rigorous experimentation would we be able to ascertain the true reasons behind this disturbing phenomenon.

He chose to ignore that information at his own peril.

Despite that, we still can’t be sure of the underlying reasons behind his death. Is there an all-powerful being monitoring the ship? Have we perhaps wandered into a zone of improbability? Does the universe treat the color red as a bull treats a cape waved by a matador? Or does it simply favor people in positions of authority—like the Captain—until they break some other unseen rule?

The Captain himself has unwittingly benefitted from this odd effect so often that many Crewmen regularly fake an illness when requested to accompany him on any mission at all. They know that to leave the ship at his side means an uncomfortably high peril.

To be fair, not all such away-team missions feature casualties, but they do happen far more often than they statistically should. The Crewmen are clearly justified in their actions.

But the Captain didn’t see it that way. In fact, he took offense at the theories swirling around this anomaly, seeming to believe that they were fashioned as an assault against his authority. “Do you think I’m intentionally putting my crew in harm’s way?” he asked. “Or do you believe that I’m somehow orchestrating this for my own benefit?”

No one dared to confirm that latter point for him, but by now, he’s cleared himself of that charge in the worst possible way.

I’d hoped to get back to port before he did something rash like this, but the Captain wanted to clear the air first. “I’m not reporting in with a cloud like this hanging over my head,” he said. “Besides, it’s the holidays. Lighten up!”

I should have stopped him. I should have had the Medical Officer declare him unfit for duty and confined him to his quarters. Maybe the Counselor could have talked some sense into him.

But he was never the sort to listen to reason. Not when he had a point to make.

So he put on that damn costume, and he went to visit the planet below. He marched down to the Transporter Chief and gave her a direct order to send him away. No one dared go with him, so he went alone.

“I’m not going to miss this celebration over some kind of silly superstition!” he said.

He didn’t last the hour down there.

I’m not from Earth, so perhaps I don’t comprehend its traditions fully. I understand this Christmas in the abstract, how it’s to celebrate the birth of a great religious and philosophical leader. But I’m unclear on exactly why that somehow made the Captain feel that he had to dress up in a bright red outfit and a fake white beard. It turned out to be an effective albiet disastrous disguise.

Or so it would seem. Whatever forces are at play here, were they fooled by the Captain’s outfit? Did they see him as a Crewman? Or did they know who he was and figured that this was finally their chance to get rid of him too?

At this point, I might even suspect the crew of being complicit in his demise. When the report of his death reached the ship, not a single Crewman wept. Several audibly sighed with relief.

I suppose that’s no proof of anything though. Given the circumstances, their reaction is entirely understandable, and I am, if nothing else, a scientist.

I just wish I had more time—and more data to work with. But all that is secondary now because the Captain is dead.

The Captain is Dead is an upcoming new release from AEG that features co-operative gameplay as players race against time to repair malfunctioning ship systems, deal with hostile aliens, and warp the ship out of danger. Releasing in 2017.

Matt Forbeck is a legendary talent with hundreds of published works in fiction and tabletop gaming. He has worked for every major company in the gaming industry, and recently authored a best-selling young adult novelization of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

Smash Up Sheep!

Apr 20 2017

That’s right, a cornerstone of the gaming world, sheep, are finally coming to Smash Up.  And best of all, you don’t even have to trade any wood for them.

They’re FREE!

That’s right, Alderac is giving out free sheep!  Just visit our Smash Up survey, give us all your data, and we’ll send you a deck of sheep later this year.  I know I know, it’s sheep, you want it right now.  Who wouldn’t?  But you have to wait a little longer while we figure out how many of these bad boys of gaming we need to send to you.

So visit the survey today and join the herd!

Mystic Vale 2017 Player Survey

Apr 20 2017

We have opened the 2017 Mystic Vale player survey! You can access it at this link.

We are interested in learning more about Mystic Vale players, how they buy the game, what they like about the game, and information about how Mystic Vale players interact with other games and with Kickstarter. People who complete the survey will be able to provide their mailing address and email address so that they can receive a free(*) set of Mystic Vale promo card enhancements. Recipients will get three enhancements, the Sunshard Glebe, one for each of the three card slots. We’ll be mailing these out near the end of 2017.

(*) There are terms and conditions applicable to this offer which are presented on the Survey page.

Thunderstone Quest Kickstarter: April 2017 Update

Apr 13 2017

Hey Folks,

It has been a couple of weeks since we had that climactic finish to our Kickstarter campaign and we just wanted to update you with the news of what we have been doing.

First of all we have been busy working with the new cards that were part of A Grand Finale as well as our Yellow Knight, to honor the Yellow Meeple and his contribution to the campaign. We feel the art work came out pretty well, and you can see that the little fella seems to have grown up pretty well…

In addition to the Yellow Knight, we have also been working on the village board. As we mentioned in the learn to play video and during the campaign, the board we were using for videos and the Print & Play was only a placeholder. We now have the preliminary sketch in for the board your cards will sit on. It is not finished yet, and we have asked for some changes to the sketch, but we wanted to give you an idea where this is heading.


Once we have the board artwork finalized we will be labelling up some different areas that will show where you are in the village when you are doing different things, like extra leveling, buying treasures or preparing.

Our next update (hopefully on its way before the end of April) should be information about the Pledge Manager. We are in the process of finalizing terms with our providers for the Pledge Manager and the fulfillment for shipping and when the “t”s are crossed and the “i”s are dotted we’ll be able to share links and information with you about how to use it!

— Mark Wootton & the Thunderstone Team

Thunderstone Quest Kickstarter: Aftermath

Mar 25 2017


After yesterday’s Grand Finale we’re all recovering and catching our breath!

Some things that are important for everyone to know:

1: We will get the details of the Pledge Manager finalized as quickly as we can. Look for an email about the Pledge Manager in 6 to 8 weeks via the email address you registered with Kickstarter when you set up your Kickstarter account.

2: We won’t be monitoring the Comments thread regularly from now own. If you have a question or a comment please direct it to the Thunderstone Facebook group:

or send us an email at

We’ll poke our heads in the Comments channel about once a week to see if there is anyone who doesn’t understand the above and is still asking questions.

3: Refunds and matters related to payment will start getting processed next week if requested. Please email if you need help with things related to your pledge.

4: If you credit card failed to charge for some reason Kickstarter will try it a few more times before they give up. If you still haven’t been able to arrange payment by the time the Pledge Manager opens we will attempt to help you on that platform. That will also be a way to use PayPal (probably although there are issues with PayPal and Kickstarters we need to investigate).

5: If you are a retailer or are interested in the AEG Kick It Here program please email for more information about carrying Thunderstone Quest in your store.

Thanks again for a tremendous finish!

— The AEG Thunderstone Quest Team

Thunderstone Quest Kickstarter: Day Thirty Two 2nd Post Thunderstone Quest Kickstarter Success

Mar 25 2017

Thunderstone Quest Kickstarter Success

Thank you for supporting us on our first Kickstarter. It has been a fun month launching and running this campaign and with your help it has exceeded our expectations.

The campaign is just the beginning and after a long weekend of sleep we will excitedly jump into the next phase of the process. As we noted in an earlier update, one of the great things about launching a game via Kickstarter is that we get to go on the journey together. We plan to make that journey as fun and informative as possible.

Next week we will be outlining those next phases and talking to you about how we will keep you updated on the progress of your copy of Thunderstone Quest.

Until then we hope you have a great weekend of gaming planned.


— John Zinser & The AEG Team

Thunderstone Quest Kickstarter: Day Thirty Two A Grand Finale Rushes to the Climax

Mar 25 2017

A Grand Finale Rushes to the Climax

After the Dark Spirits and the Gnawers in the Dark came the Heartless. Golems animated by ancient magic and automata given life by energies unknown, huge and brutal they trod over all who would not give way.

Then came the Fury of the Elements as the very stuff of the cosmos was given malevolent purpose and enormous power. The heroes watched in awe as earth, air, fire, water and the Thunder and Lightning themselves dominated the battlefield.

But then fear was truly felt when the skies parted and the Dragons Unleashed descended on the world. Five ancient serpents rampaged through the lands bringing death and destruction in their wake.

None thought worse could come but then the very gates of Hell itself were thrown open and the Legion of Pain came to the world of mortal men. Demonic figures wreathed in fire and shadow, legendary masters of the underworld who sought not just obedience but to rip the very souls of the living free and cast them down into the Pit from whence none ever returned!

Who will stand against the The Unholy Guardian?

These waves of monsters were faced by brave heroes. Men and women born of legend and empowered by fate. They brought with them powerful magic spells, enchanted weapons and artifacts of power. With their help the day would not be lost. Stand now with these mythic figures and fight, fight against all who try to bring darkness and despair to the world.  It is time for you to wield THE POWER OF THE THUNDERSTONES!

We are moments away from welcoming the 5,000th Backer to the Campaign and we are nearly finished with the Grand Finale!

Thanks to all who joined us on this incredible journey!

— The AEG Thunderstone Team

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