And hello everyone. Are you having a good 2012 so far? Or, as of this week, a good Year of the Dragon? Here at the Meeple Cave we’re a bit bummed about not going to Nuremberh, but apart from that we can’t complain so far. There are loads of games to play, after all. The last two weekends have been heavy on The First Sparks – which you’ll be hearing about soon – and I also discovered Race to the Galaxy, just a few years late. What have you been playing this year?
More news on Thunderstone Advance: we already knew the stones would now be protected by their very own guardians, the Stone Bearers. What we didn’t know is that they’ll be this nasty! But with all the Thunderstone going on, let’s not forget Nightfall: The Coldest War is also on its way.
Coming soon from Mayfair Games is Giza: The Great Pyramid (Dave Heberer). It will not come as a surprise to you that you’re supposed to build the Pyramid for the Pharaoh, in competition with two or three other builders. But your workers also need to be fed, and food needs to be produced. Work never ends… . Giza was in last year’s lineup already, but slipped into 2012.
Another game to be released soon by Mayfair: Rocket Jockey (Cliff Chiang, James Reynoso), a wonderfully pulp-y looking game where courageous rocketeers hop from planet to planet, transporting valuable cargo and outdoing each other in performing neck-breaking stunts – without actually breaking any necks.
Clever Mojo Games
Some people claim they saw the Yeti. Others have encountered Bigfoot. Around here, we like our cryptids a bit smaller, but people do say they found the Wolpertinger. But has any of you met the Flummox? The Flummox is creature in the similarly named upcoming game by Clever Mojo Games. In some rounds, you will want to catch the Flummox, in other rounds you’re afraid it’ll catch you, and you’ll be using your cards to move the legendary creature around the table, to either end up close to you or not. Flummox will soon appear on Kickstarter.
Fantasy Flight doesn’t have a single preview on games we’re tracking this week. Maybe it’s an extended SOPA protest, in that case we totally support them. Or maybe they didn’t want to divert attention from the Arkham Horror Monsters, miniatures for your Arkham Horror games. I have yet to play my second game of Arkham Horror, but by Hastur, that’s the cutest Shoggoth I’ve ever seen.
intellego is going to Nuremberg with two new Knizia games this year: Singapur and Gravitas. Both are pure wooden games – as you’d expect from a manufacturer with “wood games” in their names – and played with tiles on a square boards. In Singapur you stack up your tiles to form a skyline, and the winner is the player who can see more houses from his side, in Gravitas you move your tiles around trying to create blocks of your colour. Unfortunately, intellego’s website doesn’t let me link directly to the games, you’ll have to find your way.
Trading in space is not a new scenario for games, but it’s one that I still enjoy immensely when it’s well done. Starship Merchants by Tom Lehmann and Joseph Huber looks very well done, and the description on Toy Vault’s Facebook page sounds very promising as well: lots of details, decisions and different strategies, exactly what this kind of game needs.
The 2012 program from Asmodee France is frankly to long to repeat here, so let me just pick out two highlights.First, there is Divinare, a game by Brett Gilbert about the International Contest of the Mediums. Mediums as in “people who can see the future” not “people who are taller than some and not as tall as others.” Here is Brett’s post on it. The setting alone sounds like great fun, altough it will probably be very boring for the winner: to have a chance to win, his predictions must be good enough that he already knows he will win, right? Second, one of Libellud’s new releases has caught my eye: Seasons. You will be a mage fighting the other players using the different powers of the seasons.
It’s not a secret that I’m a huge fan of storytelling games – right between boardgames and roleplaying games, what’s not to love. And Agents of Smersh adds a setting that hasn’t bee used much in the genre: the international spy business. A lot of work went into this game, there’s a ton of components, I predict it will be awesome. Just the international shipping costs make me cry a little.
Isn’t that wild boar piglet photographed by Flickr user gssavage just aboarable? Seeing them like this, you can easily forget that some Germanic tribes considered them more dangerous than bears. But they’re so cute! (CC-BY)