Plaid Hat Games
Have you run out of adventures for Mice & Mystic? Are you dying to have more rodent adventures, but have run through the original story too many times already, but the waiting time for the expansion Heart of Glorm is still too long? There is help for you: the second downloadable Lost Chapters adventure is out, and between pirates and poltergeists, you’ll have your paws full in The Ghost of Castle Andon.
Z-Man Games / Hans im Glück
German game publishers may have created the hobby as we know it, and no one will doubt they still produce amazing games, but other publishers, especially US ones, are much better at making your mouth water before release. That’s why Z-Man Games has this introduction to Carcassone: South Seas. Laying tiles still works like it always did, it just looks pleasantly tropical. You try to build long bridges and big areas of islands and sea regions. But when you complete one of those, you no longer score points instantly as in good, old Carcassone. You now collect different wares, depending on what you completed. With the right combination of wares you can then approach a ship to sell them and take the ship token. That has the points you need to win. A very nice idea to give Carcassone a new feel, and the new scoring will require a very different approach to playing the game.
Here’s the finalized cover art for Michal Oracz’s asymmetric space horror game Theseus: The Dark Orbit. And the rulebook is also available on BoardGameGeek. More to look forward to in Essen!
Fantasy Flight Games
Still undecided who will be your favorite Lieutenant when the Descent Lieutenant Packs come out? Have a look at the three new ones in this preview post: the necromancer, the vampire and the dragon mercenary. They all have good selling points …
Players of Arkham Horror will quickly recognize the turn structure of Eldritch Horror, the world-spanning spin-off game: Action, Encounter, Mythos. The Action Phase, subject of this preview post, replaces Arkham Horror‘s movement phase. Or rather, it’s been renamed, because you move in the Action Phase and could always do other things in the Movement Phase. Other than moving, you can prepare for future turns with the Prepare and Rest actions, and you can use actions to acquire useful and important Assets.
Artipia’s current Kickstarter project has a pretty tight schedule: there are seven days left to fund Babis Giannios’s Shadows over the Empire, but you can pick it up in Essen already. Shadows over the Empire is a card based area control game: a grid of cards is spread on the table and you try to control the personalities on them so you can control the city of Cardis. Cards you control have special abilities to use to your advantage. Make sure to have a look at the unique and beautiful illustration style, too.
You can now check out the rules for the Essen release Bruxelles 1893, a worker placement game about creating Art Nouveau art and architecture in the Belgian capital. Placing workers is, of course, nothing new any more, but Bruxelles 1893 has a lot going on around that central mechanic, with different types of cards and two game boards to consider, one of which is only partially useable every round. I also like how you can use bonus cards for an immediate effect or as a score multiplier in one scoring category, that will often be a tough decision. Bruxelles 1893 will be released in the US by Z-Man Games.
Bruxelles 1893 is not the only new game coming from Pearl Games, they’ll also bring an expansion to last year’s Ginkgopolis to Essen. Like many other recent expansions, Ginkgopolis: The Experts has different modules that you can add to the game all together or mix and match what you feel like. New Buildings and Prestige Buildings have, surprise, new buildings. Green Spaces adds parks that add their score to surrounding districts. With Events you get special action event tiles and the titular Experts are new, special character cards that give their owner a special ability.
Two times Spiel des Jahres winner Michael Kiesling (Tikal 1999 and Torres 2000, both with Wolfgang Kramer) has a new game hot of the presses at Ravensburger. Sanssouci is a tile-laying game where your job is to create a baroque garden for the nobility to enjoy. Playing either of your two hand cards gives you a little choice which garden tile to take from the common display, but what tile you pick and where it came from limits your options where you are allowed to place it. With all these restrictions to keep in mind, you still have to create a continuous path of tiles for the nobles to follow in order to score points. The game is labelled as eight years and up, but like Kiesling’s other designs I think older players will enjoy it just as much.
Czech Games Edition
Here are more preview cards from Vlaada Chvátil fantasy battle Tash-Kalar. This time, the spotlight is on the Sylvan Nation.
Historical Games Factory
I’m looking forward more and more to my copy of Theomachie with every picture published in this Facebook gallery. The card effects cover many different options, too, giving you a lot to decide.
Do not click on this Kickstarter link if you’re scared of bugs, because in Colony Clash, bugs are all you’ll find. Many bugs, different bugs, colourfully and detailedly illustrated bugs.Those bugs go to war, a big battle between the Ants, Beetles, Flies and Mantises. Or some of them go to war, at least. Eliminating the opposition is one way to win the game, but stockpiling enough food also works, and the different insect species have different strengths and weaknesses.
Secret Games / Game Salute
A good friend and sometimes playtester did her PhD in Oxford and is now working there, that alone is a reason for me to be interested in Dreaming Spires, a game about building an Oxford college from the middle ages to modern times. You expand your college by placing tiles, adding value in four different categories. Famous men and women of Oxford will join your college if you offer the right benefits, and each of them adds prestige (points) and special abilities. But whatever is in the games, it won’t be able to compete with the quirkiness that is the real Oxford. Oh the things I’ve heard.
A moment many have been waiting for: Lookout Games today revealed the rules for Uwe Rosenberg’s Caverna, the follow-up to the ever-popular Agricola. I’m not going to get into the rules here because the rulebook has 24 pages, and that’s in one language and with only one page for the solo rules, all the rest is the regular game. There are similarities to Agricola, how you feed and grow your family (of dwarfs), for example, but from skimming the rules there is so much new and different in Caverna that no one should accuse Rosenberg of copying his own design.
This week’s featured photo shows Ha Long Bay, a natural world heritage site in the Quang Ninh province of Viet Nam. The photo was taken by Flickr user Dayou_X and shared with a CC-BY-SA license. Thanks a lot!