All great stories start small, usually over idle chitchat and a pint. This goes doubly true for those setting out to slay a dragon or rescue the local cabin boy. Since before the days of The Prancing Pony, adventurers have been gathering at the local watering hole to swap stories, take on jobs, and plan for greatness. Now a new board game aims to bring this critical first stop on the road to adventure to the table. That game is Cavern Tavern.

Hoist the main sail! Publisher Plaid Hat Games has begun accepting pre-orders for the company’s highly anticipated legacy game, SeaFall. Even better, players who pre-order will also receive a set of 100 metal coins to replace the regular, presumably cardboard coins included in the retail edition of the game.

First, a disclaimer: I am a dyed in the wool fan of Ryan Laukat. The game designer, artist, and owner of publisher Red Raven Games is Renaissance man, and has created some of my favorite titles among the modern crop of board games. Now Above and Below, his latest game to make it to retail, is getting a sequel later this year called Near and Far. And yes, I'm excited.

Five Tribes, Days of Wonder’s game of area control set in the mythos of One Thousand and One Nights, is set to get another expansion later this year. The game, which was first released in 2014, benefited from its first expansion last year in The Artisans of Naqala. The game’s next expansion, The Thieves of Naqala, will bring a handful of changes to the game, chiefly thieves players may hire to twist a knife in their opponents’ sides.

By now we’ve saved the world countless times from being ravaged by disease. Now a new game promises a decidedly old world twist on Pandemic’s classic gameplay. Publisher F2Z Entertainment, the parent company of Z-Man Games, has confirmed the fall release of Pandemic Iberia, a new limited edition version of the game set on the Iberian Peninsula in 1848 during the introduction of railway in Spain.

Jamey Stegmaier might be a robot. At least, that’s my working theory. It seems he never stops working, and has since 2011 carved out a space for himself and his company Stonemaier Games in the board game industry by producing a string of titles that have been well-received by both players and the press. Additionally, he continues to offer tips through his blog for professionals seeking to find greater success for themselves and their games through Kickstarter.

Are you looking at me? Or should I say, us? Asmodee announced that the next addition to Repos Production’s Cash 'N Guns makes sure you'll have someone on your side when bullets start flying. Coming in the third quarter of 2016, the upcoming Team Spirit expansion transforms Cash 'N Guns into a team sport, allowing you to trade items, loot and more with your partner while also making sure you always know there's at least one person at the table who has your back.

Board games have never shied away from a challenge. Just ask anyone who’s ever been haunted by spirits in Ghost Stories or tumbled into a bottomless pit on their second turn of DungeonQuest. And yet, when it comes to most games, these hardships are often pinned on luck, be it thanks to card draws or dice that regularly punish players beneath the heel of random chance. That’s a far cry from how most players would describe their experience playing Dark Souls. The video game franchise from Namco Bandai Games and developer FromSoftware has for more than half a decade disciplined players with its tenet of being tough but fair. If you die in Dark Souls, it’s because you had it coming.

Takenoko is already pretty darn adorable. Last year’s Chibis expansion was so sweet I found myself checking my teeth for cavities. Now designer Antoine Bauza appears to be spooning on an extra layer of cute in a new game called Takenokids.

Trains have long proven to be fertile soil for board games. There’s just something about the clickety clack of riding the rails that gets board game hobbyists to the table, and now publisher Terra Nova Games has inked a deal to bring one more U.S. market.