This news post is a really long one, you better get another cup of coffee before you start – when you read the last item, you will feel like having one anyway. This is going to be a great year for boardgames.
The Z-Man has announced what’s coming for the first half of this year: it starts with Tom Wham’s Feudality, already available in German from Lookout Games. In Feudality you build your fiefdom on a 64 square board with goodies ranging from mills to gold mines, preparing your lands for the inevitable call to war.
Equilibrion follow in February, a solo or coop card game by Shadi Torbey where you try to balance good dreams and bad dreams to keep your city in equilibrium, always opposed by the forces of chaos. An unusual setting for sure.
In April, Goa is coming back. If you mention Goa to players that have been around for a while – since 2004, actually – many of them still fall into nostalgia as Goa is one of the most popular economic strategy / auction games out there. You manage a company in the age of colonization, trading spices, funding colonies and expanding your fleet. Designer Rüdiger Dorn has applied some slight tweaks to the original game, just enough to warrant the new title Goa: A New Expedition.
More warlike natures get their fun in June with Battle Beyond Space (Frank Branham): up to four fleets fight for possession of an acient alien artifact that has suddenly started sending a signal somewhere beyond warpspace. Up to 80 ships will nuke it out at a time, and still the claim is that one game takes around an hour due to the quick combat system.
And if conflict is not your thing as all, June will also bring Atlantis Rising (Galen Ciscell), a coop game about the fate of Atlantis that, if you win, finally explained where that damned island went: your goal is to construct a cosmic gate to bring the island to safety, while it’s already sinking and the Athenians are attacking. But no pressure, take your time.
Days of Wonder
Don’t you just hate it when a new game comes out and the announcement already tells you it won’t be available in your country? Well, I’m on the lucky side this time, Ticket to Ride Germany will be available in Austria and Germany only. While the map is similar to the one in Ticket to Ride Märklin, the special map mechanics will be different and the game will be set in a different time period. If your collecting Ticket to Ride editions, start looking into shipping costs from Germany.
GMT Games actually has way more news than we ever put here, but we don’t cover the wargame side of things, so that cuts out most of their selection. But in non-wargamey things, you can now order the third printing of Dominant Species if you weren’t lucky enough to catch a copy before. The game remains unchanged, but the components got an update, especially the card art is much more shiny now, and you can order a cards only upgrade pack.
Fantasy Flight Games
The latest preview for Rex: Final Days of an Empire reveals more about the inner workings of the game and talks about Strategy cards and how you might acquire them. This weeks Cosmic Encounter preview focuses on two new races that you will probably keep your distance from. Even more interesting alien races can be found in Nexus Ops, and here’s a closer look at them then you’d ever want in real life – this one is not a preview any more, by the way, Nexus Ops is already available. Finally, working for your band in Rockband Manager becomes more interesting when they make the actual noise, and the explanation of the career phase tells you how to do that.
Alderac is really jumping on the preview train now – a good move in my opinion, nothing makes me want a game more than seeing in detail what it’s about before I buy it – and gives us not one but two previews for Thunderstone Advance. The first shows off the new board that makes everything a bit easier to remember for new players and features a back side that makes the game slightly easier to play, the second goes into the subject of familiars, a new type of cards that you will find in Advance to make your adventuring life slightly easier. And because previews like to come in threes, here are two more cards from Coldest War. It’s kind of mean to the poor thing, but I’d definitely kick that Ghoul.
Pegasus is bringing a bunch of international games to the German market – Mage Knight being one to be excited about if you’re German or desperate to get any edition – but there are also a couple of all new games to look forward to. We already mentioned Inga and Markus Brand’s Village. Frank Stark’s Zoom is not actually a new game, but the Pegasus edition might make it a lot easier to find. The goal in this abstract strategy game is to build a square of four of your marbles – easy to explain hard to do with your opponent standing in the way. Mondo Sapiens is a new edition of the popular Mondo by Michael Schacht: now you will build streets and towns with very little time to do it, but all the basic concepts of the original game seem to be still present. And more is to come later this year.
With Sun Tzu’s The Art of War designers Brad Phillips and Richard James are borrowing a great and famous name for their strategy game to be published later this year. For now, nothing at all is known about the game play, all we have is this look at the die testers. Mysterious.
Two new games are now available in stores. Kingdom of Solomon and Venture Forth. Kingdom of Solomon is a new worker placement game – with a few new twists, as designer Philip duBarry says. Reading the description, I agree that there is plenty of new stuff here that I’m itching to get my hands on. For example, you’ll be able to connect multiple areas you control and then activate them all with one worker. Venture Forth is an adventuring style game, but also with a new take on the genre: all your adventurers have their personal ambitions, and only by fulfilling those will you be able to level up. I’d be very surprised if that didn’t lead to some conflicts of interests, meaning tough decisions for you.
Some weeks it’s really hard to pick just one Kickstarter project, and this week I just gave up. There are two Kickstarter projects for you to consider.
Zoneplex is the name of the game and also of the alien pyramid you’ll be exploring in the game. You will explore the mystic pyramid and try to control areas within in an attempt to seize control of the whole structure while also battling it’s inhabitants.
The other recommendation is a combination of two things that are very important in my life: coffee and great board games. Chris and Cherilyn of Dice Hate Me Games have already proven they can produce the latter with Carnival and I didn’t have a chance to try their coffee, but I’ll wager they know what they are doing with that, too. Their new game is VivaJava: The Coffee Game and your job will be to create great coffee from scratch. And I mean from scratch, you’ll be hunting the right beans for the perfect blend everywhere around the globe – with up to eight players and little down time. That’s great in theory, but how do I drink my coffee without enough downtime?