Finally, the long awaited sequel to Matt Leacock’s Roll Through The Ages: The Bronze Age is here. Well, not quite here yet, it’s on Kickstarter under the very unexpected name Roll Through the Ages: The Iron Age. If you don’t know the first game, here’s the very short summary: you build various aspects of your ancient empire, erecting monuments, making scientific discoveries and feeding your populace, and all that by rolling custom dice. Despite the rolling, there is a surprising amount of strategy involved in what to build and discover when. In the new game, your empire is obviously a bit more advanced and you now get to build a navy, conquer provinces and make all new discoveries. One thing that is slightly unexpected for a Kickstarter project these days is the complete lack of stretch goals, you get nothing extra if the campaign is overfunded. More unexpected, however, is the addition of Tom Lehmann as game designer, the full name is Matt Leacock’s RttA:TIA by Tom Lehmann. Sounds weird, right. But Lehmann is the mind behind, among other games, Race for the Galaxy, and I’m not going to complain about having second brilliant game designer together with Leacock’s genius. A German edition by Pegasus Spiele is already confirmed, too.
Fantasy Flight Games
Hexcraft is the last new school of magic in Wiz-War: Malefic Curses, and it’s going to be a bit different from all the others. Where a wizard of any other school bathes his target in fire or ice, the hexcrafter is more the calm and cunning type. He puts traps where he doesn’t want his opponents to go, malign hexes that stun any wizard stepping on them, rob them of their memory or do other fun things to them. Hexcraft might require a bit more planning to play well than other schools, but it will be so satisfying to watch your opponents walk into your hexes.
The game is called BattleLore. We saw already what the battle part of the title entails, but what about lore? Lore is BattleLore‘s currency for magic, when you collected some of it you can use it to cast powerful spells from your Lore Deck. Both factions have different spells tailored to their strengths, defensive ones for the Daqan Lords and offensive ones for the monstrous Uthuk Y’llan, together with some healing spells to recover after a reckless attack.
Every time you think “what could they possibly add to that”, the creators of Smash Up come up with something new. After the teasing of the last few months, Alderac announced the next expansion Science Fiction Double Feature this week, again with four new factions. Three of them had been hinted at before: Time Travellers, Super Spies and Cyborg Apes. Now we also know the fourth faction: Shapeshifters! I’ll be very disappointed if they don’t get to replace opponents’ minions with their own, but … I believe they will.
Rio Grande Games
Designer Tom Lehmann has posted a Designer Diary on BoardGameGeek for the all new Race for the Galaxy expansion Alien Artifacts, announced quite a long time ago and now finally available. Alien Artifacts starts a new cycle of expansions and is incompatible with previous Race for the Galaxy expansions, and if you like to keep things simple all it does is add 41 cards and material for a fifth player. But the real fun comes with the Alien Orb, an ancient, alien structure that was recently discovered and hides the secrets of a galactic empire long gone. Exploring the Orb – a new action in Alien Artifacts – can give you access to powerful alien tech, but time you spend exploring the orb is not spent expanding your empire, so you’ll have some tough decisions to make.
This week’s featured photo shows the sunset over Old Rauma, one of the oldest harbour towns in Finland, on the gulf of Botnia. The photo was shot by Shayne Thomas and shared as CC-BY. Thanks a lot, Shayne! By the way, if you have been wondering what all the CC-talk is about every time we “steal” someone’s photos: the CC stands for Creative Commons, and it’s a good idea.